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NWTC, Oneida Nation collaborate to create accessible education

NWTC partners with Oneida Nation
Posted at 4:14 PM, Jun 19, 2023

GREEN BAY (NBC 26) — Northeast Wisconsin Technical College and Oneida Nation signed an agreement on Monday renewing a partnership that provides more economic and social opportunities for Oneida students.

College president Dr. Jeffrey Rafn said the goal of the partnership is to work with Oneida Nation to make educational programs more accessible.

Rafn said the renewal means adding more dual credit college courses for K-12 Oneida students and adding more support for students pursuing programs in fields like health sciences, engineering and environmental sciences.

"We've done work together in sustainable AG...Native food production," Rafn said. "I think in the future as we look forward, I hope, and I expect, that we'll be doing a lot more in terms of how we go about protecting our environment and our climate."

This partnership impacts students like Amber Martinez. Martinez is not a traditional student, being 34 years old and having three children.

Martinez said she's going for her associate's degree in small business entrepreneurship, and the partnership really helps her and her community.

"Our youth nowadays... there's like a generation-to-generation trauma, so we need our students or our kids going to school," Martinez said. "I just want to be a role model for my children. I just hope when they get older they'll see that and attend college."

Rafn said the college is on the Oneida Reservation, so it's important to recognize this and continue to work toward creating a supportive education for generations to come.

"The Oneida Nation was here long before the college was here," Rafn said.