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Tribal college receives $2.5 million for Enhance Engineering Program

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NEW TOWN – The Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College in New Town recently received $2.5 million from the National Science Foundation for the college’s Full-Circle Engineering Center of Excellence.

Sen. Kevin Cramer announced the award in March.

The Full-Circle Engineering Center of Excellence serves the engineering needs of the Three Affiliated Tribes – the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation – on the Fort Berthold Reservation.

Fort Berthold Reservation is in the heart of the Bakken, the lucrative oil formation.

The $2.5 million award was approved through the National Science Foundation’s Division of Human Resource Development and the Directorate for Education and Human Resources, according to Cramer’s office.

“Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College (NHSC) will establish an academic and professional pathway to increase the number of engineers from and employed by the MHA Nation and local industry,” according to the National Science Foundation.

“The project builds upon the success pre-engineering collaborative that developed the pre-engineering program of study at NHSC, allowing students to transfer to North Dakota State University for upper division preparation. The Full Circle Engineering Center of Excellence will prepare and provide students with internships during their junior and senior years and then facilitate the tribe or industry’s hiring them as junior engineers, with the ability to rotate among several departments as they find their preferred niche. The junior engineers will work with professional engineers to learn non-classroom aspects of engineering practice, such as safety and communication. The Center will also conduct community outreach events to demonstrate the role that engineering plays in the quality of life of the community, and the role of the Center in providing engineers for that contribution,” according to NSF information.

A goal of the Tribal Colleges and Universities Program (TCUP) is to increase the intellectual leadership of tribal colleges so they can address the scientific and engineering needs of their tribal communities and, more broadly, the entire nation. The Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College’s project aligns with that goal, and will impact the economic strength of the MHA Nation by fostering new STEM employment opportunities, according to Cramer’s office.

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