Career Development



"The Choctaw Nation Career Development Program works to bridge the skills gap and to enhance the lives of Choctaw tribal members by providing career counseling, tuition assistance, academic remediation and employment services. Career Development provides opportunities for education and training that lead to industry recognized certifications or licensures and self-sustaining employment for the people of the Choctaw Nation."

Career Development Services

The Career Development Team is here to support Choctaw Tribal Members, nationwide, work toward a successful career.

The Choctaw Nation Career Development Program provides a comprehensive array of career guidance services, workforce skills development, academic skills enhancement, and financial education. This enables Choctaw Nation Tribal members to obtain recognized certifications needed to enter careers and/or advance existing careers that are self-sustaining and contribute to personal financial security, healthy lifestyles, and the enhancement of the regional, state and national economy.

Services include the following:

  • Career Counseling
  • Individual Career Planning
  • Career Interest Assessments
  • College/Training Facility Admission information
  • Information on other Choctaw Nation Programs that can assist in meeting career goals
  • Job and Salary Outlook and Credentialing Information
  • Financial Counseling
  • Tuition Assistance
  • Education Services
  • Career Readiness
  • Understanding Credentialing

Click Here for Application

Click here for list of our Career Counselors

Bobby Suarez

Undergraduate degree in Marine Biology, Texas A&M University at Galveston

Currently attending University of Hawai'I at Hilo

Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Sciences Program

"I work with artificial intelligence, remote sensing, and advanced 3D mapping technology to identify the habitat usage with less invasive techniques. This is a new approach to surveying the abundance of reef fish."

Ron Jones

In spite of numerous obstacles; bills to pay (required full-time job and then some...), raising a family of six daughters with my beautiful, supportive wife, how to pay for it (kids are expensive, no money left for dad...), finding time to study, balancing family time...I chose a Health career because love the field of Radiology. I am the first person in my family to have a Masters degree which sets the bar for my six daughters. I want to earn a Ph.D. and this is a necessary step.

Suzzette Gilliland


Radiologist Assistant Student at Midwestern State University pursuing her Masters degree as a Registered Radiologist Assistant. She has worked in Radiology for 12 years, including working for a military hospital in Germany caring for injured soldiers downrange. "Thank you for the generosity of the Choctaw Nation in helping me further my education in RadiologyHealthcare."

Brittney Gehman

BSN at Texas Tech University

Employed at Dell Children's Medical Center Austin, TX

"Thank you so much for being a part of my nursing journey and helping me organize everything to take advantage of the financial aid. I am so extremely grateful to the Choctaw nation. Nursing is so tough, but you can do it-don't give up!"

Melissa Skinner

"Attending Real Estate School has been an exciting and I am grateful to the Choctaw Nation for providing tuition assistance for me. Knowing the Choctaw Nation put their belief in my abilities to succeed put extra drive in me to do well in my courses and on the exam and I knew in my heart I did not want to let them down. It is so exciting to have the opportunity to start a new career, and help individuals and families find their homes!"

Colby Cole

Certified Emergency Medical Technician

"Just keep your head up and study. Don't be afraid to ask for help that is what you teachers and Career Development staff are there for."

Brandon Digby

After trying out many jobs I didn’t like, I decided that Truck Driving sounded like a line of work I would enjoy.  The trainers at Arbuckle Truck Driving School helped me with everything I needed, and I passed the tests.

I heard about a position with the City of Sulphur, applied and about three days later, I was asked to come in for an interview. They called my back and asked when I could be at work!

My Career Development counselor continued to check with me throughout the process. Thank you for all the amazing assistance and helping me to make my life better.

Seth Paxton

"I began my undergraduate education at Oklahoma State University in the fall of 2013. It was a time of great change, and it was also a time for dreaming big. I had goals of graduating from OSU, attending law school, and launching a successful career. The Choctaw Nation Career Development Program helped turn those dreams into reality. Today, I am a graduate of Oklahoma State with a degree in Economics, Pre-Law. Currently, I am working as an intern in the Tribal Policy Office of the Choctaw Nation. This fall, I will begin law school at the University of Oklahoma College of Law.

Monica Harrison

Dental Assistant II

Bend-Madras-Prineville-Redmond Clinics

"Going to college and working is a challenge. I am glad I had the opportunity to take the course and learned so much. I received additional certification in Dental Restorative Care and look forward to utilizing my skills to serve the community as well as for my personal professional growth. A big thank you to the Choctaw Nation for their support in Career Development." My Advice: "Don't worry. Start working and before you know it you will be all done.

Nathan Folsom

Nathan majored in Video Design & Development at Exceptional Minds School, Sherman Oaks, CA. He finished at the top of his class and passed the competencies on his first try. He works for the EM Studio and his first assignment was to produce the titles for an HBO series and he will also be doing VFX work. His success is largely due to the support of the Choctaw Nation that gave him confidence and financial backing to live his dream.

Daniel McClure Jr.

Sworn in as a licensed attorney at the OK Supreme Court.
“I want thank Career Development for all of the help I received over the last 4 years.”

LaTisa Davidson

Family Preservation Social Worker

Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

"Intern if possible, join an organization and get involved on campus, and take your time on choosing a field, find something you'll love!"

Tori Hendrickson

Everyone meets obstacles throughout their academic career. However, my biggest challenge was time management. Classes need to come first and between soccer and school, this proved challenging for me. In graduate school and as a third-grade teacher, I can say that I have effectively learned to place priority on the things that need it. Use these years to grow your intelligence and find out who you truly want to be as both a professional and a person.

Austin Megli

Bar License and J.D. Degree

Laguna Development Corporation

"Focus on your career goal and don't get caught up on how hard the journey is. Be resilient and realize present obstacles are only temporary once you achieve your overall goal."

Heather Whitaker

Family Nurse Practitioner

Kidney Disease Dialysis Associates

"Hard work and dedication are essential."

Shanetha Collier

2013 Graduate of the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center's College of Dentistry, General Dentistry, Doctoral Surgery Program. Now working at the Family Health Center of Southern Oklahoma in Tishomingo.

"I'm grateful to Career Development for the assistance I received in Dental school and when I received additional credentials through Invisalign."

Tara Thorp

Bachelor of Science in Nursing & Registered Nurse license

"Don't give up! Your path may be different from the traditional path, but dance to the beat of your own drum. Take a risk. I've met so many people at school and by being involved in different clubs, and jobs. I've grown immensely from pursuing higher education and I couldn't have done it without all the financial and emotional support the Choctaw people have helped me with."

Kenna Smith

2015 Graduate of University of Oklahoma Health Science Center's College of Medicine

Master of Health Sciences, Physician Associate Program.

She attained her PA credential in 2016 and currently works in the Choctaw Nation Health Services, Durant Clinic. She is grateful for Career Development Program assistance, especially with PA credential test prep and test registration fees.

"Take a break when you feel overwhelmed," Kenna advises.

Blake Jackson

A graduate of Hartshorne High School and a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Garrett "Blake" Jackson received his Bachelor's degree at Oklahoma State University. In May 2016, Blake obtained his Juris Doctorate with Distinction and Certification in American Indian Law from the University of Oklahoma College of Law. And in September 2016, he passed the Oklahoma Bar Exam and was administered the Oath of Attorney at the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

Shelly Johnson


McAlester Regional Labor and Delivery

"I believe that setting goals is one of the most important steps to accomplish success. There should be no limit on what you desire to achieve, as long as you're are willing to put in the work."

Tiffany James

I attended the Nursing program at Texas A&M University-Commerce and with the help of Choctaw Nation Career Development, I was able to pursue my lifelong dream of becoming a Nurse. I graduated with my BSN, and I was also able to take my NCLEX examination, officially becoming a licensed RN. I am now following through with my desire to work in the NICU, touching as many lives as possible. I am so thankful for this opportunity and blessed that I received the help that I did so I could achieve my goal. Thank you Choctaw Nation for all your assistance!!

Sergeant Nashoba Simmons

He earned his National Registry Certification as a Paramedic and in 2018, joined the Seminole Fire Department in Seminole, OK

Jessica Simes

With financial assistance from both Career Development and Higher Education, Jessica received a bachelor's degree from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Occupational Safety and Health in 2009. Her dream was to continue to work for her tribe in the safety capacity and she was willing to relocate in order to do so.

Jena Rae Kellum

Jena Rae Kellum graduated Summa Cum Laude from Oklahoma State University Class of 2016, won Senior of Distinction from College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and Senior Leadership and Scholastic awards from the Animal Science Department. Upon graduation, she accepted a job with Purina Animal Nutrition as a Lifestyle Feed Sales Specialist where she works with farmers and ranchers to assist with their livestock's nutrition program and to find ways to promote Purina products. She has the opportunity to participate in farm calls every day, conducts educational meetings for the public, and works with local agricultural agents, 4-H and FFA students, vets, etc.

Kayla Farmer

Graduated from University of Texas Medical Branch from the Master of Science in Nursing program as a Family Nurse Practitioner.
“I received assistance from Career Development and the Higher Education programs.”

Melissa Carr-Harrison

Completed her bachelor degree at OU Health Science Center in Nuclear Medicine Technology.
Employed at Mercy Hospital as a CT/Nuclear Medicine Technologist.

“College was the best choice I have ever made. It wasn’t always easy, but looking back, I know that all of the time spent was worth it in the end.”

Sara E. Kruczek MSIV

OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine

"It was difficult getting into medical school and I had a hard time studying for the MCAT. Career Development helped me to get into a prep course, as well as to help me financially with paying for the MCAT and some of my board exams once I was in medical school. Now I'm a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine and a Pediatric Resident at Arkansas Children's Hospital. I love what I do and I'm so thankful that Choctaw Nation helped me get here!"

Johnny Jarvis

"Don't give up. The effort to start a new, fulfilling career is worth it. It's never easy to get where you want to be in life."

2017 Graduate, Navarro College

Limestone, Texas Sheriff's office

Lane Grant

McAlester Fire Department

Hard work pays off!

Megan White

After 10 short months and 1500 hours, I earned my certification in Cosmetology. With 3 kids it wasn't so easy, but I was determined to finish and better my family of 5. I love what I do!

Jayne Johnson

"Welding may not be an everyday career choice for a woman, but I believe women can do anything. I chose welding because I grew tired of feeling trapped in dead end jobs, because I grew tired of being told what a woman is "supposed to do."" ..."the very first day of school I didn't want to stop welding. I loved it. I am so thankful to have been fully funded through Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma to attend Force Welding School, LLC in Valliant, OK, and be the first female welder to graduate."

Haley Thomas

2018 LPN Graduate of Emerald Coast Career Institute Employed at Emerald Coast Infectious Disease Clinic.

"If I can do it, you can. Since I was a little girl, I always wanted to be a nurse. During school, I experienced the death of my dad, my grandparents, and my best friend. This really pushed me to finish school, be a better nurse and a fighter."

Colten Walker

Graduated from Tulsa Welding School in March 2019 and is working for Trident Process Systems in Gainesville, TX.

Ashley Choate, LVN

Employed at Regency Skilled Nursing Center, Shawnee, OK

“Never give up and always do your very best!”

Employment Services

Career Development’s Academic & Employment Services Team is here to support you as you seek a successful career. We offer guidance in writing resumes and cover letters, interviewing skills and filling out applications. By utilizing these effective job search tactics, you will gain confidence as you head toward your employment goal.

Click here for more information

Vocational Development

The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma’s Vocational Development program strives to gain and maintain competitive employment for all referred individuals. The program offers personalized services to individuals needing assistance with pre-employment, employment, and post-employment services. We also provide financial assistance for Adult Vocational Training for up to a maximum of 24 months.


  • Be at least ⅛ Native American and have a CDIB showing the degree of Native American blood.
  • Be a high school graduate or have completed a GED course.
  • Live within the boundaries of the Choctaw Nation.
  • Plan to attend an APPROVED accredited college, training institution or Career Tech.

Click here for more information


Teach To Reach (T2R) is a grant based program provided by the US Department of Education: Office of Indian Education.
The focus of this funding is to train more Native Americans to enter teacher education programs and become highly qualified educators.

Click here for more information

Career Videos

For Documents Click Here

Graduation Stoles and Cords

Upcoming Events

For more information please contact Career Development at 866-933-2260