Articles & Updates

V5I2: Fort Peck Community College’s Transformative Programming

Dec. 8, 2022 ⋅ Categories: Beacon


The Wawogiya Retention Program

Wawogiya is an Assiniboine word that translates to “one that offers to help.” The Wawogiya philosophy and Nakoda/Dakota (Assiniboine/Sioux) cultural responsibility is operationalized in a student success retention program called “Wawogiya” designed to meet the student retention challenge, which is led within the Student Services Department. The Wawogiya Team primarily consists of Student Services staff that utilizes new retention software technologies such as “Dropout Detective” to provide timely services for students and faculty members alike. A strong emphasis is placed on interdepartmental collaboration to maximize responsiveness and appropriate placement to help students succeed and reach their academic goals. Here’s a Wawogiya program overview:

The Buffalo Chasers Podcast

The Buffalo Chasers Podcast was officially launched in September 2020 in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic as a retention effort from the Fort Peck Community College (FPCC) Student Services Department. The podcast provides weekly hour-long Indigenous-based content that is facilitated by the FPCC Cultural Liaison, a Cultural Consultant, and the Vice President for Student Services. The Buffalo Chasers Podcast leverages digital platforms such as Zoom Video Conferencing, Facebook, and YouTube to connect FPCC cultural resources with students to enrich and enhance the FPCC student experience. During the initial phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, the podcast has proven beneficial for student success by connecting students to important aspects of student wellness address cultural identity and holistic student wellness. Campus cultural resources were operationalized to meet the unique challenges of student mental health, cultural awareness of indigenous history and legacy, and student-community engagement.

The podcast promotes inclusiveness by addressing a Buffalo Chasers society model at the student, campus, and community levels through video conferencing and social media, which means that all community members and students are considered part of this society: The weekly Buffalo Chasers. Students are exposed to live conversations with the options of joining the video conference calls directly and communicating with full video and audio, or by simple chat/messaging options via Zoom. Every Thursday from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m., the podcast is delivered via campus-wide Zoom meeting invite to all employees and students through a mass notification system. The Zoom meeting is streamed live on the Fort Peck Community College Facebook page. The podcast’s reach is immense when considering the various digital platforms used to stream and archive the video and audio content: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcast, and Spotify. Viewers are the local population and include international viewership throughout the U.S. and Canada. Each week the podcast incorporates a traditional Dakota/Lakota/Nakoda prayer and mental health topic, which is then discussed through the views of the co-hosts and employee or student participants on Zoom. The FPCC official school song is played in its entirety at the very beginning and ending of the podcast to promote our unique Indigenous connection to prayer, song, prosperity, and education.


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