About Executive Order 13592

On December 2, 2011 President Obama signed Executive Order 13592, Improving American Indian and Alaska Native Educational Opportunities and Strengthening Tribal Colleges and Universities (EO 13592).  Highlighting President Obama’s education agenda, EO 13592 helps to provide American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) students of all ages high quality education and career-building opportunities.  This new Executive Order raises the bar to improve AI/AN early education programs, promotes excellence and drives the reform of elementary and secondary schools, and increases the expectations of TCU’s and the achievements of career-ready students.  Specifically, EO 13592 facilitates increased access to and participation in federal programs where AI/AN students remain underserved.

The Tribal Leaders Taskforce and the Federal Interagency Working Group are established by EO 13592 and are comprised of individuals, executive branch departments, agencies, and offices, which work in conjunction to represent a broad spectrum of fields and programs impacting AI/AN.  The Initiative, co-chaired by U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan and U.S. Department of Interior Ken Salazar, is housed within the U.S. Department of Education, and led by Executive Director William Mendoza. Additionally, the Initiative works collaboratively with the White House Office of Public Engagement and the designated Federal agencies to increase AI/AN participation in programs in education, commerce, business, health, human services, housing, environment, arts, agriculture, labor and employment, transportation, justice, veteran affairs, and economic and community development.

Executive Order 13592 replaces Executive Order 13270 (EO 13270).  Signed by George W. Bush in 2002, EO 13270 ensured that the Nation’s commitment to educational excellence and opportunity extended to Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCU’s).  This Executive Order combated the development challenges endemic to reservation communities by fostering increased levels of human capital accumulation and enterprise development.

Read Executive Order 13592 

Creating a Cradle-to-Career Pipeline: The Educational Framework 

“…Federal agencies must help improve educational opportunities provided to all AI/AN students, including students attending public schools in cities and in rural areas, students attending schools operated and funded by the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Education (BIE), and students attending postsecondary institutions including Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs)…”
(Executive Order 13592)

In the past, Tribal officials and American Indian educators have indicated that an unbroken “pipeline” from early learning to career is necessary to foster the educational success of American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) students. In response, the White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education (EO 13592) creates a seamless cradle-to-career plan, where AI/AN children receive an education that prepares them for college and career success. This plan of action takes into account the life challenges and cultural relevancy of students from early learning to higher education, which better serves AI/AN students.

Early Learning
In accordance to EO 13592, funding available for AI/AN early learning programs challenges states to develop and implement models that improve the consistency of and access to high-quality programs that focus on more children entering kindergarten prepared.

In Executive Order 13592 (EO 13592), President Obama supports expanding educational opportunities and improving educational outcomes AI/AN students and commits to furthering tribal self-determination to help ensure that AI/AN students have an opportunity to learn their Native languages and histories in addition to receiving a complete and competitive education.

Post Secondary

  • Tribal Colleges and Universities
    There are 32 fully accredited Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) in the United States. TCUs are both integral and essential to their communities, creating environments that foster American Indian culture, languages, and traditions.
  • Native American Serving Non-Tribal Institutions
    A Native American Serving Non-Tribal Institution (NASNTI) is an institution of higher education that at the time of application is an eligible institution under section 312(b), has an enrollment of undergraduates that is not less than 10 percent Native American students, and is not a TCU. Overall, awarded grants assist in planning, developing, undertaking, and carrying out activities to improve and expand NASNTI institutions’ capacity to serve AI/AN students.

Career and Technical Education, and Adult Education
These grants help support Native American Programs, Tribally Controlled Postsecondary Career and Technical Institutions, and basic, secondary, and English Language Acquisition Adult Education programs.

Additional Executive Documents