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New president looks forward to academic challenges

Observer Staff

10/28/2005 12:00:00 AM

Welcome to the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College.

I am Dr. Karen Radell, the new president, but I am not new to the college. I worked on the original self-study for accreditation candidacy in 2002 and I was adjunct faculty before that.

My Ph.D. is from Kent State University in Ohio and I came to Mt. Pleasant in 1987 to teach in the English Department at Central Michigan University.

I achieved the rank of associate professor there and taught many courses in English and film studies. That was how I first came to the Tribal College-I taught a class on film and I really liked the small class size and the contact I had with the students.

Now, I am excited to be part of the Tribal College again in a leadership role as we prepare for our next accreditation site visit by the Higher Learning Commission/North Central.

At SCTC, we are committed to excellence and focused on student-centered learning to that end. We want to be known as a place of opportunity; we want to develop the minds and the talents of all who enroll here.

As we face the challenge of preparing students for living in a diverse, knowledge-based world, we will continue to honor Anishinabe culture, its history, art and language.

We offer three distinct associate of arts degrees: in business, liberal arts and Native American studies. We have articulation agreements with Michigan State University, Central Michigan University, Ferris State University and Mid-Michigan University.

We are gearing up for our next accreditation visit in February of 2007 and after that-our credits will automatically transfer to any other accredited college or university.

Our Learning Resource Center, which was open only five hours a week last year, is now available to students 25 hours a week.

Soon, we will begin transforming it into an extension of the Tribal Library-the new Tribal College satellite site will offer computers, audio-visual equipment, maps, a study room, and most important, library materials from reference to cultural that meet the needs of the Tribal College students and the community at large. Already, we have a math tutor working five hours a week.

Our STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) curriculum is gradually expanding and we have received a grant to design on our own wet lab for biology, chemistry and earth science courses.

The future looks bright for SCTC as we continue to grow and strengthen our educational programs.

In addition, we have many opportunities for student involvement outside the classroom from the Anishinabi Times newsletter, to the student council and the AIHEC Student Congress which meets every year in the spring.

It is my hope that we can enrich the lives of our students by offering more opportunities for studying and creating art, literature and film while at the same time continuing to offer the required coursework in English, business, math and science.

Whether you are pursuing personal interests, fulfilling work-related studies, or obtaining your associate of arts degree, I hope that SCTC will live up to your expectations.

We want to be the place where the individual, the curriculum and the community interact to achieve the highest levels of learning.