In Tahlequah, many resources are available to people in need, even those without tribal citizenship.
A partner of the American Job Center network, Oklahoma Works has locations across the state. These centers are designed to help businesses find qualified workers and help job seekers obtain employment and training services to enhance their careers, according to the Oklahoma Works webpage
An Affiliate Oklahoma Works center in Tahlequah offers services from some of the center’s partner programs, but not all of those available at Comprehensive Centers. Partners in the Tahlequah office include Eckerd Connects, the Green County Workforce Development Board, the Department of Rehabilitation Services, the Oklahoma Department of Veteran Affairs, the Department of Human Services and Adult Education programs from Tahlequah Public Schools.
Adult education is an option to train for a new or current job. Scholarships for these types of programs are available at several local higher education establishments.
Northeastern State University has opportunities for non-traditional students looking to enroll in degree programs, as well as those looking to continue their education through classes. NSU has a special admission category for those over age 21, on active military duty or that otherwise, who do not fit under regular admission requirements. Applicants need to have graduated high school or completed a GED program to be considered. NSU also offers a program for working adults: the Reach Higher FlexFinish program, with options for online and eight-week classes as well as five enrollment periods a year.
NSU Director of Admissions and Recruitment Dr. Brandon Miller described a scholarship at NSU specifically available for this type of student.
“We offer the President Steve Turner Non-Traditional Student Foundation Scholarship to full-time incoming freshmen, 25 years of age or older, who are beginning their college education. They must have a 3.0 high school GPA,” said Miller. “The funds vary from year to year and we can award one or two students. We will send out the announcement via email in August.”
Adult students can fill out the university’s General Scholarship application as well.
Michelle Farris, academic adviser for NSU’s Reach Higher program, pointed to some more community resources compiled by the Reach Higher adult degree completion program, including transportation assistance from Cherokee County Sooner Ride and Hope House of Cherokee County as a food resource. This list can be found at: https://reachhigherok.org/community-resource-directory.
NSU also offers Continuing Education classes, as Program Coordinator Antony McCarty described.
“Continuing Education at Northeastern State University has classes that cover business, human resources, marketing, entrepreneurship, health care and technology,” said McCarty. “The vast majority of these courses are online and can be taken at the learner’s pace.”
Financial aid options for these classes are more limited.
“We do not currently accept financial aid in the form of grants or scholarships,” said McCarty. “We can accept funds from the Cherokee Nation.”
The Indian Capital Technology Center offers adult educational resources. Tahlequah campus adviser and recruiter Anna Haas described these programs.
“The Tahlequah campus offers adult students 11 full-time programs, [such as] Auto Collision Repair, Automotive Service Technician, Business Management, Criminal Justice, Electrician Assistant, Heavy Equipment, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning, Information Technology, Service Innovations, Welding and Adult Licensed Practical Nursing,” said Haas.
Haas asked for interested applicants to first apply online and complete the online Full-Time Programs Student Application.
“We hold adult enrollment interviews once a month and ask for all applicants to bring, if possible, a resume, two letters of recommendation and a transcript or copy of their GED for financial aid purposes,” said Haas.
Public Information Coordinator Anesa Hooper expounded on financial aid opportunities at ICTC.
“ICTC does offer financial aid for our adult programs who do qualify or meet financial aid guidelines,” said Hooper. “Financial aid that we offer includes PELL grants, veterans’ benefits, tribal assistance, state grants, scholarships and various funding agencies.”
ICTC offers scholarships as well.
“We offer several scholarships to adult students who meet specific criteria for each of these scholarships. Scholarships include our Senior Scholarship, ICTC Foundation Scholarship, Superintendent’s Scholarship and Fee Waiver,” said Hooper.
The second part of the series, which will appear in the June 25-26 weekend TDP, will focus on health care and food resources.