Hydrology, Salish Kootenai College
Program Design & Assessment
The Hydrology Program at Salish Kootenai College, which was first accredited in 2010, provides an opportunity to expand geosciences education for Native American students and communities. As the first of its kind in the nation at a Tribal College, the Hydrology Program at Salish Kootenai College provides a Tribally-centered interdisciplinary education in water resources and management. The program is housed within the Natural Resources Department.
Strengths of this program
This program is structured such that completing years one and two of the B.S. degree constitute completion of the A.S. degree.
Types of students servedSalish Kootenai College is a tribal college and part of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium. While the college encourages diversity, its primary purpose is to serve the needs of Native American People. In 2011, the college served about 1,100 students of whom approximately 75% are Native American.
The goals of this program are as follows:
The goal of this curriculum is to develop graduates who have a deep understanding of both technical and theoretical hydrological sciences while appreciating the dynamics of climate change and anthropogenic effects on the hydrological cycle; with the notion of preparing the graduate to help solve the pressing water and climate problems facing society using both Western and Tribal scientific knowledge and values.
How program goals are assessed
Program assessment includes student evaluations, course surveys, peer evaluation, consultation with the Tribal professionals, and informal student feedback to suggest ways to continually improve the curriculum and content.
Design features that allow goals to be met
In keeping with Salish Kootenai College's mission and Strategic Plan for 2010-2015, the program is designed with "an emphasis on Native American worldview and application of science to indigenous issues." This goal is met through coursework specifically focused on Tribal issues (e.g. Senior Seminar: Culture and Environment) and through incorporation of culture into every class.
Four students graduated in the Spring of 2013 with A.S. degrees in Hydrology. The program originated in 2010 so 2013-14 academic year represents the fourth year of the program and as yet, no students have completed the requirements for a B.S. degree. For the 2010-11 academic year, the overall graduation rate at SKC was 47%.
Careers pursued by our alumni
Completion of the A.S. degree will provide students with the necessary skills to work as a hydrology technician within the Reservation Area, the US Forest Service, the EPA, the Bureau of Restoration, the USGS, or other similar organizations. Completing the requirements for the B.S. degree prepares graduates for graduate school or to obtain employment as managers or directors of industry, local, state, federal, or tribal programs.
Courses and Sequencing
Diagram of course sequencing and requirements
SKC now offers accredited Hydrology 4-year degree, Tribal College Journal article from May 2011.