College Horizons, Inc. 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. 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.
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.
In 2010, College Horizons Inc. contracted with IROOTS MEDIA, LLC to re-brand the organization’s image. The process included focus groups with workshop participants at Lawrence University in Wisconsin, an online survey with Graduate Horizons alumni, and individual interviews with College/University representatives partnered with College Horizons.
The result was the development of two logos: College Horizons & Graduate Horizons. Participants, Alumni, and College representatives stressed the need for separate identities as both service different demographics.