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Nee-tha-hatsa-nak/Wa’Uspe-Wicakiya Preparation Program

    Scroll to the bottom of the page to read about recent program activities

Become a Teacher

The Nee-tha-hatsa-nak/Wa-Uspa-Wicakiya Preparation Program (Wa'Uspe) at Aaniiih Nakoda College (ANC) works with highly qualified, highly motivated students interested in earning a bachelor's degree in education.

Program Goal

Our ultimate goal is to prepare teachers who possess the personal experience, connection to community, and academic preparation needed to increase teaching effectiveness and to improve Indian student achievement.

Program Characteristics

ANC has entered a consortium agreement with MSU-Billings to provide training and support for 20 American Indian pre-service teachers to earn their bachelor's degrees in education (BSEd).

   Course work will build on the cohort model in which all students in the program begin at the same time and remain as a group through graduation.

   Delivery of courses will be face-to-face, on-line, and via Vision Net technology.

   From January 2014 - May 2016, MSU-B and ANC will collaborate to arrange course scheduling for the cohort and be responsible for delivering curriculum and a full range of associated support services.

   In order to complete on schedule, summer coursework may be required.

   The NWPP provides a full year of induction services when candidates begin teaching.

Other Requirements

For the amount of time enrolled in the program, students must agree to perform work related to the training received and that benefits Indian people. Generally, this will mean teaching in a school where Native American students are enrolled.

Applicants must meet certain federal stipulations and agree to adhere to NWPP program policies and procedures.


   The grant will cover most tuition, required fees, and book expenses. Covered costs will be paid directly to the institution of higher education on a reimbursement basis.

   Related training costs (i.e. Praxis testing, fingerprint application, licensure application) will be paid directly to the provider of such services.

   Stipends provide assistance for room and board and personal living expenses. Occasionally, funds are also available for assisting with childcare and travel. These are paid only during the months a student is enrolled full-time.

Dr. Donna Miller, Program Director
Aaniiih Nakoda College
P.O. Box 159
Harlem, MT 59526
(406) 353-2607

Recent Activities

With the assistance of the Nee-tha-hatsa-nak/Wa'Uspe-Wicakiya Preparation Program’s (NWPP) tutor/proctor, Rebecca Bishop-Goss, the NWPP had a presence at the Mid-Winter Fair. The NWPP booth earned third place, receiving both a plaque and a ribbon. In addition to photographs of cohort members mounted on a presentation board, two posters featuring the NWPP logo, and several slogans about the power of teachers/teaching, the booth featured work from the third grade classroom of student teacher Shaylea Tatsey and mentor teacher Ms. Nedra Flansburg at Lodge Pole Elementary. Demonstrating wicohage, the third graders wrote letters about the importance of buffalo. They wrote their letters on buffalo shaped cut-outs, which were mounted on crumpled brown paper meant to resemble tanned hides. A blanket, sparkly silver paper, and streamers accented the booth, which also featured statements by cohort members about their plans to sustain cultural traditions:

   “I plan on sustaining cultural traditions by enriching my teaching with Native American history and culture.” (Michelle Crazy)

   “I plan on sustaining cultural traditions by incorporating the Seven Essential Understandings into any lesson I can. I feel that all lessons have room for them, no matter how big or small the discussion.” (Jessica Cochran)

   “I plan on sustaining cultural traditions by including my students’ cultural beliefs into our daily lessons in any way possible.” (Kayla Leo)

   “I plan on sustaining cultural traditions by implementing language, culture, and history into my lessons and classroom.” (Shaylea Tatsey)

   “I plan on sustaining cultural traditions by implementing them into my lessons throughout the year. I will be the voice for my people, to help set history straight.” (Melinda Jones)

On October 15, 2015, four pre-service teachers (Jessica Cochran, Michelle Crazy, Shaylea Tatsey, and Kayla Leo) and the the Nee-tha-hatsa-nak/Wa'Uspe-Wicakiya Preparation Program's Director, Dr. Donna L. Miller co-presented a workshop to an audience of teachers from across the state of Montana who were gathered in Billings for the annual MEA/MFT Educators’ Conference. The presentation, “Evaluating Picture Books,” shared their experiences with using a rubric to select picture books that align with the Common Core State Standards to complement content area curriculum while also meeting the literacy standards. The workshop provided an extension to a learning experience in EDU 383: Assessment in Education. After the presentation, which was attended by thirty one people, the group received several compliments and comments of appreciation from the audience, who conducted a gallery walk of the posters and asked questions of the presenters.

Page Last Modified: Wednesday - March 09, 2016 @ 1:29pm MST