The university’s School of Education received a $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of
Education to promote the growth of American Indian administrators across the state.
According to a university press release, the focus of the grant is “to address the shortage of
American Indian administrators in the state’s public school districts with a large American
Indian student population.”
This project, known as the First Americans’ Educational Leadership (FAEL) project, will be led
by Dr. Camille Goins, assistant professor of the department of educational
leadership and specialties and director of the middle grades program. In addition, Goins is an alumna of UNCP, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Master of Public administration.
“We are really excited and looking forward to implementing this program,” Goins said.
“This university was established to train American Indian teachers and with this program we are
building upon that foundation with a focus on the administrative role,” she added.
Between January 2019 and January 2020, 20 participants are expected to participate in the FAEL
“The project is designed to help participants attain a Master of School Administration degree or
an Add-on in School Administration. Additionally, it will help graduate students acquire a
principal licensure and complete two years of administration with ongoing support and
professional development through induction support,” the release stated.
The FAEL project will also provide support in a number of ways for these students.
Funding will help students cover expenses such as “tuition, books, exam fees, stipend, childcare,
mentoring services, among others,” the release stated.
In addition, the university will partner with the Lumbee Tribe, Public Schools of Robeson
County, Hoke County Schools and Scotland County Schools to assist participants in job
placement and preparation.
According to the release, “American Indians represent less than one percent of school
administrators in North Carolina.”
This is no surprise to Mary Ann Jacobs.
“The stats on American Indian education have been poor for a very long time,” Dr. Mary Ann
Jacobs, associate professor and chair of the Department of American Indian Studies, said.
“American Indian educational attainment has always been far below that of the general
population because of the rural location of many American Indian communities, the negative
history of American Indian Education (boarding school), racism toward AI students and
communities in American public schools and the high rates of poverty that make seeking a
higher education degree an unrealistic goal for many American Indian students,” Jacobs added.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, “In 2007, some 44 percent of
American Indians/ Alaska Natives age 25 or older had attended some college or completed an
undergraduate or graduate degree.”
Moreover, while almost half of American Indians attended college or earned a degree, 36 percent
finished high school without pursuing a college degree, with 20 percent failing to finish high
The FAEL project is just one initiative of many launched by the university to aid American
Indian students as they prepare for success in academia and in their individual professions.
UNCP was founded in 1887, as “Croatan Normal School,” a college established for the training
and education of American Indian teachers (uncp.edu).