Educational Leadership Doctorate Expands in Partnership with Muckleshoot Tribe

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As reported in The News Tribune, UW Tacoma's doctorate in educational leadership is welcoming 15 new students this summer via a collaboration with the Muckleshoot Tribe.

School of Education Associate Professor Robin Zape-tah-hol-ah MinthornThe educational leadership doctoral program at UW Tacoma has added a cohort of 15 students through a collaboration with the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe.

As reported by the News Tribune (“Advanced degree program launched by Muckleshoot Tribe, UW Tacoma,” July 11, 2020), the 15 students started coursework on June 29. For the next three years, the students will focus on Indigenous topics, working on their own and coming together -- virtually while COVID-19 is with us; at the Muckleshoot Tribal College after that -- one weekend per month during their studies.

The News Tribune said that “Students are either tribal citizens or have worked closely with indigenous education before. Four of the students enrolled are connected to the Muckleshoot Tribe, while the other 11 come from other tribes such as the Lummi Nation, the Makah Tribe and the Cochiti Tribe. Some students are commuting from as far as New Mexico and Oregon to attend classes.”

The 15 students focusing on Indigenous topics at the Muckleshoot Tribal College complement the students who are pursuing the degree on the UW Tacoma campus. Ed.D. program director Robin Zape-tah-hol-ah Minthorn told the News Tribune that the Tacoma cohorts and the Muckleshoot cohort will get to know each other virtually and, when possible, face-to-face.

Others who spoke to the News Tribune about the program include Muckleshoot Tribal College academic affairs instructor Amy Maharaj (one of the 15 Ed.D. students), Muckleshoot executive director of adult and higher education Denise Bill, and Ed.D. student and Muckleshoot Tribe citizen Huda Swelam.

Read the News Tribune article

Written by: 
John Burkhardt / July 14, 2020
Media contact: 

John Burkhardt, UW Tacoma Communications, 253-692-4536 or