One America Community Efforts
Little Bar

Program: Hoop of Learning Partnership, Phoenix, AZ
Contact(s): Patricia E. McIntyre, Counselor: 602-285-7392
Purpose: To facilitate the exchange of ideas, feelings and perspectives about race-related issues, to improve race relations among different groups, and to enlarge the higher education picture to include Native American students

Background Program Operations Outcomes


The Hoop of Learning Program was developed in 1994 and implemented in the summer of 1995 to meet the academic needs of Native American students from the junior high school through the university levels in Phoenix, Arizona. The program was developed in response to a concern that Native American students have the lowest retention rate of any student population; 65 percent drop out prior to the 9th grade. The Hoop of Learning Program provides a safety net to retain students and a network to give them a positive educational experience through the college level. The goal of the Hoop of Learning Program is to increase the number of Native American students who attend college by helping students discover that they can be successful in college before they graduate from high school. The program instills students with a sense of persistence and a feeling of familiarity with the Phoenix Union High School District, Phoenix College, and the Arizona University campuses.

Program Operations

The program provides a set of general education courses run by faculty and staff who provide encouragement and foster an interest in higher education among Native American Students. The Hoop of Learning Program is a combined effort of many local educational institutions and projects: RETENTION Phoenix College provides tuition and fees; Phoenix Union High School District provides transportation funds; Phoenix Union High Parent Committee provides book funds; and the Phoenix Indian Center provides employment opportunities and drop-out/GED assistance. Through the summer program, students increase their skills and earn credits in math and science. Students also receive college credit for classes offered by Phoenix College during the academic year. Students develop proficiency in basic academic skills essential for college and life. Counseling, advising, and scholarship assistance is also available to Hoop Learning Program participants.

Outcomes and Significant Accomplishments

Through the Hoop of Learning Program, the Native American community has become more engaged with its future leaders. Arizona colleges and universities have increased the diversity of their populations and have increased retention among students. The program has grown from 28 to 120 students, and has a 98 percent success and retention rate.

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