San Carlos Apache College announces new partnerships

San Carlos Apache College (SCAC) is seizing the golden opportunity to forge meaningful teaching, research, and community service initiatives in the vast and increasingly important fields of Natural Resources and Public Health, focusing on what the College can do well at this early stage in its development. The College’s participation in key events and discussions with potential partners throughout the community and state is helping the school get a good idea of what it can do in these two fields, which are central to the College’s nation-building agenda. This includes the College’s recent and ongoing participation with Diné College in the Navajo Nation and with the Mayo Clinic on a unique project to develop a cutting-edge and culturally appropriate cancer research education curriculum for Native American undergraduate students. Funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), this work will start with an existing “Cancer 101” curriculum and enhance it significantly with topics and recommendations specific to tribal research approaches. The College’s Provost, Dr. Lisa Eutsey, and Professor Kathy Kitcheyan, attended the first planning meeting to launch this project, which was held April 22-25, 2018, in Shiprock, New Mexico.

The leadership of the San Carlos Apache Health Corporation (SCAHC) and the Tribe’s Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) are genuinely interested in how the College can collaborate to meet their employees’ greatest needs for continuing education and skills training in specific areas, as well as to prepare more health professionals for the San Carlos Apache Tribe.

The College is therefore committed to crafting an Action Agenda in the field of public health, preferably in collaboration with, and support from, all three Arizona universities. Moreover, the College is exploring its options to acquire a federal executive-on-loan who can help spearhead the development and coordination of its work in this field.

San Carlos Apache College continues to make fast progress in establishing special partnerships with the University of Arizona, Arizona State University, and Northern Arizona University (NAU) — all with an eye on maximizing the higher education opportunities available to members of the San Carlos Apache Tribe. Through its longstanding partnership with ASU, our College has been benefitting from high-caliber technical assistance and mentoring from ASU advisors — Mr. Jacob Moore and Dr. Maria Hesse — and will soon be able to enhance its Apache language offerings with the help of a renowned ASU linguist detailed to work with SCAC by ASU’s President, Dr. Michael Crow.

The College is also moving forward to establishing a far-reaching partnership with NAU, which will be centered on joint efforts to provide members of the San Carlos Apache Tribe quality courses, programs, and career/advising services in the fields of forestry and nursing as initial priorities. SCAC is also seeking to partner with the NAU School of Communication on collaborative projects related to film production, broadcast journalism and other media studies, which have long been of great interest to Apaches and other Native Americans.

Finally, SCAC is actively working with UA Professor, Dr. Keith James, and his UA Colleague, Dr. Teisha Solomon, to create a wide-ranging and sustainable partnership between SCAC and the University of Arizona, centered initially on health-related initiatives and potentially expanding into the natural resources and other fields of greatest value to our College and the Tribe. It is envisioned that the SCAC-UA partnership will benefit the future work and services of the San Carlos Apache Health Corporation and the Tribe’s Department of Health and Human Services. SCAC is also pursuing an opportunity to work closely with the UA on a long-term and multi-faceted health initiative involving the Tohono O’odham Nation, the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, and the San Carlos Apache Tribe.

In response to the Tribe’s great need and demand for a well-training labor force in the construction trades, San Carlos Apache College will soon be working in a close partnership with various entities throughout the Tribe—and especially with Tohono O’odham Community College (TOCC) — to develop and implement its very own Construction Trades Program. 

Dr. Lisa M. Eutsey, Provost of San Carlos Apache College, is spearheading the College’s exciting and far-reaching partnerships with entities throughout the San Carlos Apache community and the state. She brings significant experience living in a tribal community and working in senior faculty and administrative posts at a tribal college for more than eight years. As Dean of the Faculty at Diné College in the Navajo Nation, Dr. Eutsey provided direction, leadership, and supervision to the College’s eight Academic Division Chairs, the Director of Assessment, and to the College’s five Academic Standing Committees. In addition, Dr. Eutsey oversaw all curriculum development at the course and program levels. Working with faculty and directors for Diné College’s six-site system in Arizona and New Mexico, Dr. Eutsey developed the schedules for all face-to-face, interactive television, and online courses. She also led and maintained Diné College’s accreditation efforts and worked with the Higher Learning Commission to get approvals for several new certificate programs, an associate degree program, three bachelor’s degree programs, as well as blanket approval for offering all of the College’s programs using distance education.