The Native American student population at Kansas University is one of the fastest-growing minority groups on campus, but members of a task force hope that more Haskell Indian Junior College students will find their way to KU in the future.
According to fall 1989 figures, 219 Native American students attended KU. During the fall of 1987, 106 Native American students attended KU, and during the fall of 1988, the number was up to 148.
Gail Sloan, director of the placement office at Haskell, said more students were attending KU because state regents schools are working more closely with community colleges on course transfer agreements. Sloan has been working with the Haskell-KU task force since it was appointed two years ago by Judith Ramaley, executive vice chancellor of the Lawrence campus.
Jerry Hutchinson, associate vice chancellor for academic affairs, represents KU on the task force, which meets monthly. Hutchinson had led staff development programs at Haskell before the current task force was formed.
"OUR relationships have been positive," Hutchinson said. "And it has improved during the last half decade. I think we're finding out that we need Haskell and Haskell needs us."
Jeff Weinberg, associate vice chancellor for student affairs at KU, said the task force allows leaders from Haskell and KU to discuss issues of common concern.
"The exciting part is that there is a desire to work together to bring students together," said Weinberg, who directed financial aid at KU for 18 years. "It's really evolved during the past two years. It's been to the students' advantage."
SEVERAL PROGRAMS to ensure a smooth transition from Haskell to KU, and also from KU to Haskell, have been developed by the task force committee. A student who has attended both KU and Haskell was appointed to serve as a liaison between the two institutions. In addition, cooperative faculty and staff programs have been developed between the colleges during the summers.
And the award for the Community College Scholarship Program was increased from $500 to $1,000. Two Haskell students received the scholarship this year, said Kathryn Kretschmer, associate director of admissions at KU.
She said the task force was formed primarily to answer questions about the transfer process to KU.
DEANNE DOLPHUS, who will graduate from Haskell in May, will go on to KU in the fall, where she plans to study accounting. She was awarded one of the $1,000 community college scholarships to KU.
She said she met with Sloan several times to determine which Haskell courses would transfer to KU. About half of her courses will transfer, she said.
Dolphus said she was excited about going to KU.
Sloan said she tried to explain to Native American students what they would encounter once they arrived at KU. Dolphus said she was a bit wary of the bigger campus and classes.
"But my friends really like it, and they haven't had any problems," Dolphus said.