By Stan Bindell
Santa Fe, New Mexico - Hopi Junior/Senior High School has drawn more recognition from Harvard during the Honoring Nation’s Good Tribal Governance Symposium held in Santa Fe in early February. Hopi Junior High School Principal Glenn Gilman gave a presentation of the school’s Two Plus Two Plus Two program, which was given High Honors by Harvard’s Honoring Nation’s program in November 2000.
Hopi High School and the other 31 award winners gathered at this symposium to share their success stories with the hopes that Indian entities can take this back to their reservations and duplicate what has been successful toward helping Indian people. Two-Plus-Two-Plus-Two is a college transition program between Hopi Junior/Senior High School, Northland Pioneer College and Northern Arizona University that enrolls senior high school students in classes offering concurrent college level credits. The students taking the courses may have gained 30 transferable college credits by the time they graduate from Hopi High.
Principal Gilman said the program helps Hopi students attain advanced educational degrees which empowers them with technological and academic skills. Gilman emphasized that many Hopi High School students in the past had trouble with adapting to the college life and had to dropout during their first year of college, but through this program more Hopi High students are going on to earn their college degrees.
Launched in 1997, the Two Plus Two Plus Two program involves two years of high school, two years of post-secondary education leading to an Associate degree and two additional years of college leading to a Bachelor degree. Hopi High School students who are enrolled in the program earn college credits toward an Associate or Bachelor degree while taking qualified courses at Hopi High School. These for credit courses are taught on site by Hopi High School staffs who are also certified to teach community college.
Gilman said the program’s ultimate goal is to increase the number of skilled Hopi professionals on the reservation. Being able to take the first two years of college on the Hopi Reservation enables the students to stay with their family and stay active in the Hopi culture. The students then go off to college with more experience and confidence. With its focus on math and science, Two Plus Two Plus Two prepares students for health care and other top-notch careers.
This program also incorporates the latest interactive technology including t-100 Internet capability and an interactive satellite conference system which allows Hopi students to take some courses from NAU through satellite.