TUBA CITY -- After receiving full high school graduation status on Oct. 15, Tuba City Alternative High School staff have taken their responsibilities even further by organizing vocational and college visitation fieldtrips so their students can find out what is available to them once they graduate.
The purpose of the trips are to expose their students to junior college settings and allow them to meet with college or vocational advisors, tour campuses, find out about native student support programs and to get help with completing applications if they are serious about attending these college or vocational programs after they graduate.
Staff at TCAHS avidly encourage their students to attend a college or higher level vocational school to advance their careers and individual life choices.
Students from the Tuba City Alternative High School recently visited Coconino College, Yavapai College and Phoenix Job Corps. During their visit, they received information on tuition, room and board, meals, books, classes and financial aid available.
Students that went on the TCAHS trip were Colin Ami, Stellarissa Brown, Johnny Lehi Jr., LaWanda Scott, Durward Attakai, Evan Bitsinnie, Kevin Chee, Peyton Barlow, Loren Clauschee, Antoinette Jim, Lionelynn Sloan, Alana Friday with staff members, TCAHS Counselor Bob Tsinnie and Patsy Satler.
One TCAHS student said, "It's not such a scary thing to go on to college, and I know now, I can do it!"
"The college visitation and job corps visitation were really beneficial for our students," said Tsinnie. "It gave them a firsthand look to see the campuses and meet people who work there and could assist them. For many of our TCAHS students, it was really the first time they got to see a college up close."
As one of seven schools managed and supported by Tuba City Unified School District, TCAHS, now offers 50 computer ports on site at the Tuba City district and one port off site for medical related assistance for one student.
There are no open student slots at TCAHS, which is labeled a "Performing School." Currently there's a waiting list of 29 to get in.
TCAHS has been extremely successful in transitioning students back into a regular high school program that have had prior problems adjusting because of either academics, health/pregnancy, poor attendance or social issues. In fact, now the students attending can choose to graduate from TCAHS. Four students actually graduated during the fall 2005 semester, completing their required 21 credits utilizing the NOVA Net online computer program.
This 21-credit unit amount, approved by both the Tuba City Governing Board and the State Department of Education, is also what is required at several other regular native reservation high schools. This includes all of the surrounding reservation area high schools. The current state required minimum is 20 units to graduate.
Tuba City High still maintains its "top of the heap" requirement credit status of any reservation high school program on either Hopi or Navajo, with 28 units required to graduate.
For more information about the Tuba City Alternative High School, call 928-283-1049 to speak to the front desk for application information or call TCAHS Director-Cleveland Holt at the same number.
(Rosanda Suetopka Thayer is Public Relations Director for Tuba City Unified School District.)