Native American Scholars Program

The Native American Scholars Program (NNASP)

The mission of Newman University includes the development of the intellect and spirit by providing educational experiences for career enhancement with special regard to persons who are disadvantaged. Newman implemented the NNASP in response to the national concern that the secondary school dropout rate for Native Americans is the highest compared to any other racial or ethnic group.

Designed to motivate Native American high school students to graduate high school and to earn a college degree, this program uses an investigative, hands-on integrated approach to teaching and learning. Like all of Newman's Scholars Programs, NNASP allows students to experience a college campus and learning environment in such a manner that college becomes a positive and familiar experience, thus positioning the students for a brighter future.

When students drop out of high school, they immediately limit their opportunities for professional success. Consequently, it is also far more likely that their own children will be at risk of not achieving a high school diploma, let alone a college degree. The NNASP strives to prepare scientifically literate Native American citizens while, at the same time, planting dreams of higher education and ultimately professional success.


  • To strengthen pre-college science education and address the needs of students during the critical years when concepts and attitudes are developed.
  • To make science a fun and exciting opportunity through an investigative laboratory approach.
  • To increase the understanding of the relevance of science to Native American students.
  • To increase interest and confidence in learning science through student-centered instruction.
  • To help students graduate from high school by fostering independent scholarship, originality and competence in science.
  • To broaden participants’ scientific interests and inform them of the need and opportunities for Native Americans in science and health professions.


Participants selected for the NNASP will receive two hours of college credit upon successful completion of the program. Tuition is waived for NNASP participants. Also, each participant will receive a $100 stipend for the spring semester, and a university identification card which permits access to the Dugan Library and Campus Center and learning/computer center(s), and allows for participation in extra-curricular activities on Newman's campus at no charge.

The Program

  • Inquiry based, interdisciplinary approach to learning
  • Designed to match developmental needs of participants
  • Faculty supervision through one-to-one discussion
  • Occasional guest speakers will discuss career options in science, humanities and health professions

Each participant will:

  • Select a meaningful topic or project from the biological, health or physical sciences
  • Conduct a literature search
  • Set up laboratory/field experiments
  • Collect data, analyze results and draw conclusions
  • Write a paper in scientific format *

* Students are also encouraged to present their papers at the annual meeting of the Kansas Junior Academy of Science. This is a great opportunity!

The program also attempts to track participants’ continued enrollment in high school, academic progress in science, graduation from high school and acceptance to a university of higher education.

Criteria For Selection

  • A complete application for admission.
  • A letter of recommendation from a teacher or counselor.
  • A copy of the student’s high school transcript.
  • A brief essay explaining career goals and the reason the applicant should be considered for the Newman Native American Scholars Program.
  • All application materials must be submitted to Christina Edelman, Teaching Specialist, Native American Education Program, USD 259, 412 S. Main, Wichita, KS 67202, 316-973-5128.

This program is made possible in part by a grant from the Wichita Public Schools.

For More Information

Contact Program Director Surendra Singh, Ph.D.