Native Students Stepping Forward:
Dollar General Adult Education Program

2014 – Ongoing

About The Program

The American Indian College Fund’s Native Students Stepping Forward: Dollar General Adult Education Program, previously known as the Dollar General American Indian and Alaska Native Literacy and Adult Education Program, addresses a critical gap in the education pathway, empowering underserved Native people to gain the foundational literacy skills needed to prepare for and obtain high school equivalency (HSE) credentials and pursue post-secondary education and meaningful career pathways.

Like the Dollar General Literacy Foundation (DGLF), the program’s primary funder, supporting it at up to $300,000 annually, Native Students Stepping Forward is committed to helping individuals of all ages receive the educational foundation they need to succeed in post-secondary education opportunities or the workforce. Through tribal college and university (TCU)-implemented programming, this work seeks to strategically expand services and resources to achieve measurable outcomes in ABE progression and HSE program enrollment, retention, and completion. In a continuous effort to value the whole student, the program aims to assess and address students’ needs to succeed, encourages culturally relevant programming elements, promotes visibility of HSE students at TCUs, and supports college and career readiness programming components. TCU grantee partners also regularly engage across the cohort in a Community of Practice (CoP) to share best practices and challenges, strengthen programming, and examine holistic impact on students and communities.

High School Equivalency Visibility Project

The American Indian College Fund engaged three TCU high school equivalency (HSE) partners for the HSE Visibility Project, featuring the stories of HSE students and graduates in a social media campaign throughout winter and spring of 2024.

2022 High School Equivalency Program Convening


Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe College

Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe University

Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College

Northwest Indian College

Oglala Lakota College

Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College

Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College

Sinte Gleska University

Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute Tohono O'odham Community College

Tohono O'odham Community College

Turtle Mountain Community College

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The Iñupiat family engagement event was held at the Aimaaġvik Assisted Living Center to celebrate the season with the elder residents.

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