College Horizons was founded in 1998 by Dr. Whitney Laughlin at the Native American Preparatory School (NAPS) located in Rowe, NM in partnership with Norbert Hill and the American Indian Science and Engineering Society. In 2003, the American Indian Graduate Center became a fiscal agent and by 2005 College Horizons received 501©3 status as a national nonprofit. In 2009, our founding director retired. College Horizons is now Native-led and comprised of 6 Native staff members, a Board of Directors, and an Advisory Council consisting primarily of Native community leaders, educators, professionals, college students, and College Horizons alumni and their parents.
Today, College Horizons is based out of Pena Blanca, NM and continues to support the higher education of Native students by providing College Horizons, a college admissions workshop for high school students, and Graduate Horizons, a and graduate admissions workshop for college students and graduates. Our programs operate during the summer and are open to American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian participants from across the nation. The faculty of the program consist of college admissions representatives and volunteer counselors who are high school college counselors, teachers, Tribal education/scholarship staff, and educators working on college-access/retention and student services support to Native students.
From 1998-2000 the College Horizons programs were hosted at NAPS and the inaugural program consisted of 48 students and 20 partner schools. In 2001, as the program began to expand and draw Native students from around the nation, College Horizons was held for the first time on two college campuses – St. John’s College in Santa Fe and Washington University at St. Louis. By 2003 at the request of alumni, the Graduate Horizons program was established to prepare Native college students/graduates for competitive admissions to graduate/professional school. Today, College Horizons serves 300 high school and college students each summer, partners with 45+ colleges/universities per program, and brings 60 experienced volunteer college counselors and American Indian educators to work one-on-one with students.