College of Eastern Idaho (CEI) administrators address the attendees on January 30.
By ROSELYNN YAZZIE
FORT HALL — College of Eastern Idaho hosted an Education Forum for the Shoshone-Bannock community on Tuesday, January 30 to gather input on how the institution can better serve tribal students.
According to a CEI press release, “CEI specializes in tailoring education products that serve regional student populations and employers that are looking for certain skills and certifications. Often students can earn a certificate from CEI in a matter of weeks that qualifies them to work in interesting, well-paying jobs.”
CEI Multicultural Coordinator and Shoshone-Bannock tribal member, Effie Hernandez, said their goal was to hear the needs of the membership on how they can build a better partnership. She expressed how she’s excited to be a part of this event and it’s been a huge goal of hers is to not have to choose between both worlds and how they work together as one.
A panel of CEI staff introduced themselves and explained their job duties, including Lori Barber, Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs; Rebecca Killion, Senior Coordinator for Health Professions Nursing; Amy Brumfield, Executive Director, Institutional Research; Trevor Elordi, Vice President of Workforce Training & Continuing Ed; Kirsten Erickson, Nurse Chair/Co-Administrator; David Facer, Executive Director, Foundation; Jacob Haeberle, Dean of General Education; Mark Madsen, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships; Hailey Mack, Dean of Students; Mary Stephenson, Dean of Early College & Rural Outreach.
Hernandez said, “These are the people that support me in my efforts to help make this possible. And just again, in building connections with how we can help our tribal members succeed whether it’s work force training and development, general education programs, health care, you name it.”
Effie Hernandez is the CEI Multi-Cultural Coordinator.
Jessica James, Sho-Ban Tribes Education Program manager, said she’s worked with the CEI staff to try to get the tribal community members interested in possibly taking some training and education at their college. She thanked everyone who showed up and said they are there to hear from the community.
Fort Hall Business Council member, Nancy Eschief Murillo, said it was good for those attending to be there to hear what the college can offer. She encouraged everyone to express their concerns about education and told them learning was important.
CEI President Rick Amen mingled with attendees before the start of the event. He said he was excited to talk about the college but more so, to listen. Staff took questions and comments from the audience throughout the evening.
He said, “CEI has partnered with the Shoshone Bannock Tribe for years. Many fresh opportunities for collaboration are emerging. At the heart of the CEI mission is the emphasis on skills, certifications and family wage job preparation which will serve the tribe well. My team and I are looking forward to this listening session with the Shoshone Bannock Community, excited about exploring opportunities to work with K-12 students, new graduates who are ready to begin a career, and support for current employees who need further skills.”
CEI staff want to know how they can better serve tribal students.
Mark Madsen, CEI’s Vice President - Strategic Partnerships, emphasized, “This event is more about us understanding the product that best serves the Shoshone Bannock student, than trying to sell CEI programs to those who attend. We will have many Deans and College Administration from CEI there with plenty of information for potential students, but we’re really hoping to get lots of insight from attendees on how CEI can create an easy pathway into class, and quickly onto solid employment, with little or no debt.”
Sunshine Shephard was a guest speaker who spoke about her education journey as dinner provided by CEI was enjoyed by all.
A survey was conducted and participants were entered into a drawing for prizes. Sho-Ban High School senior Alyssa Goodvoice won the grand prize of an iPad.
Information tables were set up representing TRIO, CEI, and 477 Education Program.