On Monday, we visited the Tohono O’odham Community College and met with several campus administration including the President of the college. It was fascinating to hear about the struggles that the Tohono O’odham have had with promoting higher education on the reservation. It was hard, however, to not feel confident moving forward due to all the efforts that TOCC is putting into fixing these issues. Their staff seems extremely dedicated, key educational indicator statistics are trending towards the positive, and there was even an active campus development project being undergone. (the amphitheater which surprisingly enough does not have an O’odham language word equivalent). All of these point towards a bright future.
I also was rather surprised to hear that the college has a rather successful basketball team. For a school attempting to establish a good reputation in both the local community and overall academic sphere, a good sports team is a huge aid. In addition to simply attracting constant media attention and supplying a sense of college pride, I also noticed that the team did bring in a decent amount of revenue via ticket and merchandise sales. Just an interesting side note to an overall enlightening experience.