On Montana’s American Indian Heritage Day, which was Sept. 27th, Gov. Steve Bullock and Montana Commissioner of Higher Education Clayton Christian announced in a press release that $350,000 will be given to Montana Tribal Colleges to assist in growing accessibility to the HiSET.
The HiSET exam gives out-of-school youth and adults the best opportunity to demonstrate their skills and knowledge and earn a state-issued high school equivalency (HSE) credential.
"Students on tribal reservations deserve to have every opportunity available and will now have access to these additional resources to earn a high school equivalency that is fundamental to their future," said Gov. Bullock.
"Just as the cultural heritage and history of the Tribal Nations began the story of Montana, today all of Montana succeeds when the folks in our tribal communities succeed," he said.
Governor Bullock proposed in his budget to the 2019 Montana Legislature funding for Montana Tribal Colleges to prepare tribal students for success with the HiSET.
The Legislature passed Governor Bullock’s proposal, included in the Office of Commissioner of Higher Education budget, and will allow each Montana Tribal College to receive $25,000 each year of the biennium.
"Access to high-quailty, affordable education fro all Montanans is the top priority of the Montana University System," said Commissioner Clayton Christian.
"This funding will help tribal students enter our Montana universities and colleges, where a robust network of programs providing financial, academic and general support will provide a pathway to academic and career success," Christian said.
With the funding, Montana Tribal Colleges may help tribal students prepare to take and pass the HiSET exam with tutors or other testing preparation materials, cover costs to take the exam, create testing centers and more to limit barriers for students interested in taking the test.
This is the first time Montana Tribal Colleges have received such funding to support the HiSET. The exam can help students to attend college or receive a higher-paying job.