In this short Q&A, Christine Faria (CF), TG&H Executive Editor sat down to chat with Patrick Horning, (PH), the National Strategic Alliance Executive for University of Phoenix (UOPX).
UOPX works a bit differently with Tribes and enterprises. Also, in partnership with Raving, attendees can get college credit by attending their conferences and training! Meet Patrick and his team at the upcoming Raving NEXT: Indian Gaming Strategic Operations and Leadership Conference January 31, Isleta Resort and Casino, Albuquerque, NM.Watch the video or read the modified transcript below:
CF: Hey, everyone. Chris here from Tribal Gaming and Hospitality Magazine. Welcome to another TG&H On Air today, sponsored by University of Phoenix. If you’ve been thinking about finishing your degree, starting a new degree, or if you have a team member that works for your Tribal organization that needs to be re-skilled or up-skilled, you are in the right place with this interview. So, without further ado, I’d like to introduce PH, the National Strategic Alliance Executive for University of Phoenix. Hey, Patrick, welcome back.
PH: Hi, Chris. Good to be back.
CF: What sets University of Phoenix apart from other colleges and universities that work with Tribal communities?
PH: Well, one thing about the University of Phoenix and particularly the Tribal team, is that we’re not responsible for enrollments. So our function is not to go out and solicit students. It’s to make sure that students that attend are put in a position to where they have a better opportunity and a better chance of graduation. And number two, that the courses that they take and or even the certificates or single courses that they all align with, help them progress in their career whether it’s at the place that they’re working or maybe in a different department for the same tribe.
CF: What is the TSAA and how does it work?
PH: We, we have a lot of unique resources at the University of Phoenix that are specifically geared toward our Tribal students. Probably the most significant is the Tribal Strategic Alliance agreement that we have with the National Indian Education Association. And the purpose of the TSAA is to allow students to go to school for a significantly lesser amount of money so that they have a better opportunity of graduating, number one, debt free. And number two, for enterprises and Tribes to be able to use that resource for a multitude of different of different experiences. Maybe a casino is having a hard time finding talent for specific positions or retaining their top talent because everybody’s kind of fighting for the same people. So helping them use the resources that we have, like the TSAA to be able to attract new talent and also retain their top talent.
CF: Explain to your partnership with Raving
PH: We’ve been working with Raving for a long time. And, and one of the big things about Raving, and one thing that makes this partnership unique from anybody else that we work with is, number one, with Raving being a Native-owned company, they understand the dynamic and the barriers that many of our Tribal students face. We work very closely together with different facets within the Tribal community, within gaming, but also within other enterprises and, and with the Tribes themselves to be able to collaborate and figure out what we can do in order to dispense our resources and offer our resources for the benefit of the Tribes, the enterprises, the members as well as their families, because their families are able to take advantage of these benefits as well.
CF: We’ll be seeing each other at the end of this month at Raving Next: Indian Gaming Strategic Operations and Leadership Conference. Why are you attending?
PH: I’m stoked. I love this conference. I really do. I attend a lot of conferences, but this is probably one of the best because it’s a more intimate setting; the key players are there, so it’s much easier instead of fighting thousands of people and everybody’s trying to make their rounds to say hello to everybody. It’s a smaller yet dynamic conference and you can set up time to just sit and chat with people more easily than you can with a big group. I can honestly say this is probably one of the best conferences for making contacts and planning out strategies, and just figuring out who we need to go visit with and who’s in in need of the resources. It’s not always about the money. It’s nice with the TSAA; it’s nice to be able to take school at less than half the normal cost, but it’s more important that. It aligns with where the student wants to be in their career. That’s one of the things that Raving is, is has been a really big asset for us to, to be able to make those contacts and, and have conferences like this to facilitate that. So I’m, I’m really excited. I can’t wait.
CF: I am as well. TG&H will be covering the event. So, Patrick, if folks would like to find out more about the program, what should they do?
PH: Well, we’ll be at the conference, so we’ll have a booth there. We’ll have a couple of folks there along, with me. Just come, hit me up at the booth and if I’m not there leave your card or have them give me a call and we can sit down and chat about any challenges you guys might be having . It’s not just about getting a degree. That’s probably the farthest thing from my mind when I’m talking with clients and potential alliances and partnerships. It’s, it’s really more about the challenges that they’re having and what we can do in order to help them mitigate those challenges. So come visit!
CF: You know, that’s why we like working with you Patrick thank you so much for being on TG&H On Air today.
PH: Oh, you’re welcome. And it’s always a pleasure, Chris. Can’t wait to see you at Raving NEXT!