Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

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Language minor

Students earning a Choctaw Language minor are, in no particular order, Kandace Folsom, Nicholas Charleston, Justin Fite, Kristin Pate, Anjanette Williston and Caleb Taylor. They are being congratulated by Chief Gregory E. Pyle (far left), School of Choctaw Language Director Jim Parrish (second from left) and Assistant Chief Gary Batton (far right).

Students first to complete Choctaw Language and Culture minor at SE

By CHRISSY DILL Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

In collaboration with the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s English, Humanities and Languages Department offers a minor in Choctaw Language and Culture and recently produced its first six students to officially hold the minor.

To receive a minor in the Choctaw language at SE, the student is required to obtain 18 hours. Choctaw language courses offered include Choctaw Language and Culture 1, 2, 3 and 4, Intermediate Conversational Choctaw and Advanced Conversational Choctaw.

The following students, who earned their undergraduate degrees prior to earning their Choctaw minor, are the first to receive recognition for successfully completing the Choctaw Language and Culture minor at SE. They completed 18-21 hours in Choctaw courses to meet the minor requirements and were approved by the English, Humanities and Languages Department: Nicholas Charleston, Justin Fite, Kandace Folsom, Kristin Pate, Caleb Taylor and Anjanette Williston.

“Since these students had already received their bachelor’s degrees, Southeastern recognized their completion of the Choctaw Language and Culture minor with a notation on their transcript during this fall semester,” said Kristie Luke, Associate Dean for Admissions and Records/Registrar at SE.

“The minor became available fall 2011,” said SE Native American Center for Student Success Director Chris Wesberry. “Southeastern is the only university right now that Choctaw Nation has an agreement with for the minor,” he added.

“As Language Director, I look forward to future students receiving their minor,” said School of Choctaw Language Director Jim Parrish. “This partnership with SE helps us to prepare teachers to teach in the Choctaw Language School.”

The Choctaw Nation Language Department offers language classes over the Internet as well and will continue to expand those classes to meet the needs of those who are interested in enrolling, according to Choctaw Nation’s website. In addition to learning how to read and write the native language, students will also learn about the history and culture of the tribe through the classes.

The School of Choctaw Language encourages anyone who is interested in learning more about the Choctaw language and culture to visit choctawschool.com, where lessons are available, according to Parrish. “All words and phrases have audio, which is spoken by a first-language speaker.”

Distance learning through One-Net is now in approximately 40 high schools within the Choctaw Nation and in three colleges, Carl Albert Jr. College, East Central University and Eastern Oklahoma State College. In addition to courses at SE, the program is also being taught in 40 different community classes in various locations in Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and California as well as 14 head starts.

If you are a student and interested in earning a minor in Choctaw Language and Culture at SE, contact Chris Wesberry at 580-745-2376 or email at cwesberry@se.edu.