Campus: San Marcos -- February 13, 2007

Cal State San Marcos Signs Historic Pact with Local Tribal Council

Cal State San Marcos President Karen S. Haynes and the Tribal Council of the Santa Ysabel Band of Diegueño Indians signed an historic Memorandum of Understanding Jan. 24 that seeks to increase the number of Santa Ysabel students attending college while also bolstering their chances for academic success.

"We're excited to be the first CSU to establish a formal memorandum of understanding with one of its neighboring tribes," said President Haynes following the signing."We hope this agreement creates the possibility for other tribes to think about formalizing their expectations of student access and success with us."

San Diego County has more federally recognized tribes (19) than any county in the United States thus providing opportunity to build a formal community partnership with Native American communities, according to the memorandum. Through the university's Tribal Communities Initiatives Task Force, Cal State San Marcos faculty, staff and administrators have been focusing on educational outreach and relationship building with such communities since 2004.

"Nationally, just 54% of Native American students in high school graduate, and that number is just 52% in California," said Bonnie Biggs, professor emeritus and CSUSM tribal liaison. "We want our Native students to beat the odds and become successful college students, alumni, and become our future teachers and faculty."

Contact: George Cagala, (760) 750-4012

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