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SKC Professional Development - Niki


Prevention Task Force Program Director, Salish Kootenai College

Niki began working at Salish Kootenai College (SKC) in 2004. She currently holds a bachelor of science degree in health enhancement with a K-12 teaching endorsement from Montana State University. Niki aspires to be a health educator at SKC, but to teach in her field she would have to hold a master’s degree. The Woksape Oyate program provided scholarships for SKC employees to seek advanced degrees to allow the school to invest in its employees and tribal members and facilitate their promotion to faculty and administrator positions.

“I currently attend courses at the University of Montana in the School of Public and Community Health Sciences. My goal is to graduate with a master’s degree in public health. I began my studies this past fall with a course in healthcare administration and management and another in health policy. These courses challenged me, especially in learning online processes and communication,” Niki says.

“If I were to identify the benefit of this degree work, it would definitely be in program management. I am the program director of the SKC Prevention Task Force, which focuses on HIV/AIDS prevention. The skills and readings that I was assigned helped me identify my weaknesses and strengths as a leader within the program and in my home community,” she says.

Niki says that she would not have pursued a master’s degree without this scholarship. “My aspirations are to teach courses in health issues at SKC and this opportunity has been most beneficial. I am absolutely positive that I have much more to learn and have greatly appreciated the chance to challenge myself personally as well as professionally,” she says. Niki adds that her love of teaching inspired her to continue her education in order to seek an education and certification to teach at SKC.