Native American tribes have a unique place in American history, and their communities play a distinct role within the larger context of American society. To help meet the needs of these communities, federal, state and local government agencies plus tribal and business leaders have worked with Southeastern Oklahoma State University to develop three degree programs geared for Native American leadership yet versatile enough for graduates to pursue a wide range of career paths.
The original Master of Science in Native American Leadership online program prepares graduates for leadership positions within tribes or with organizations that conduct business with tribes. The curriculum covers the complex cultural and traditional aspects of native communities as well as regulatory factors affecting business and leadership.
Through courses including Native Education Policy, Geography and Treaties, and Current Topics in Indian Country, students are prepared to succeed in challenging, high-demand (and historically undertrained) roles. Students also learn a range of soft leadership skills with significant cultural importance, in courses including Effective Communication through Presentations, and Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving.
Southeastern’s online Master of Science in Native American Leadership – Education online program trains graduates to facilitate operations for schools and community stakeholders who have an interest in academic affairs. Post-secondary education administration jobs are projected to grow 7% between 2018 and 2028, with $94,340 median annual pay, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (February 2020). Potential career paths include curriculum developer, dean of instruction, program administrator, education specialist, or director of an academic division.
Students take many of the same core courses offered in the original program, as well as concentration courses. The core course Native Education Policy provides a foundation in understanding historical and contemporary developments regarding native education, including key governmental policies from the Meriam and Kennedy reports and No Child Left Behind. Concentration courses include Public School Law, School and Community Relations, School Administration, and School Operations Management.
The Master of Science in Native American Leadership – Healthcare Information Systems online program prepares students for leadership in a field that projects to grow 18% between 2018 and 2028, with a $99,730 yearly salary, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (February 2020).
Driving the rapid growth in this field is an aging population, expansion of the healthcare field and the necessity of understanding technology and big data, as they are increasingly used in the industry. This degree program provides an in-depth foundation in healthcare information technology with an emphasis on particular issues Native Americans face. The concentration courses — Health Information Systems and Electronic Health Records — enable graduates to hit the ground running in high-demand leadership positions.
Career pathways are open in many types of organizations that store, secure and manage health information records, from medical practices to managed care companies. Career options include healthcare information technician, application analyst, database administrator, systems analyst, data analyst, management consultant, IT consultant, information systems manager, CMIO or CIO.
The Native American leadership MS degree programs change lives, for graduates and the populations they serve.