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Hoop of Learning

The Maricopa Community Colleges District Hoop Of Learning (HOL) Program is a high school to college scholarship bridge program specifically tailored to meet the academic and cultural needs of American Indian Students. HOL focused on empowering our American Indian youth by using the universal concept of a medicine wheel (hence Hoop Of Learning), which focuses on Emotional, Mental, Physical & Spiritual health of well-being. The goals of South Mountain’s Hoop Program have always been building our next American Indian generation both in academics and empowering self-identity through cultural appreciation. To give the students a competitive, comprehensive advantage in their journey towards higher education. Participants in the HOL Scholarship Program receive the following:

  • Tuition
  • Course Fees
  • Books
  • Bus Passes
  • Cultural Activities

The Hoop of Learning program was implemented in the summer of 1995 in response to concerns voiced by Native parents in an urban high school district in Phoenix, Arizona. These voices influenced the high school and a local community college which to form a partnership committee to provide an educational program for Native students, now referred to as the Hoop of Learning. The Hoop of Learning is a high school to college bridge program. It is designed to foster cultural resilience and career development among Native Students.

Hoop of Learning Program Goals

  • Increase high school retention and high school graduation rates
  • Increase American Indian participation and matriculation rates into college
  • Create the conditions for retaining American Indian students to reach their higher education goals
  • Enhance American Indian culturally relevant curriculum
  • Increase diversity on the college campuses
  • Strengthen external collaboration by establishing and continuing partnerships with American Indian communities, school districts, and other agencies
  • Potential students must be an enrolled member of a federal/state recognized American Indian tribe (or in the process of obtaining a census #)
  • Self-motivated; demonstrates excellent attendance
  • Currently enrolled in high school and provide a current copy of high school transcript
  • 2.0 or higher Grade Point Average high school (GPA)
There are three steps to participate in the Hoop of Learning program:

STEP 1: Fill out the application

Let your high school Native American Counselor know you want to apply for the program. Complete the application, have your parents sign it, and return it to your Native American Counselor.

You will be notified by the end of January if you were admitted to the program.

STEP 2: Apply for admissions

Once you have been admitted to the program, and, if this is your first time taking a course from South Mountain Community College, you will need to create your MEID and apply for admission to have access to classes and services.

STEP 3: Take Placement Tests

If you plan on getting a degree, taking a college level English, Reading, or Math class, or if English is not your first language, you’ll need to take a placement test before you can register for classes.

The Accuplacer is an untimed, computer-based, adaptive placement test that is designed to identify your skill levels in English, reading, and mathematics in order to best place you in college courses. You can view sample questions and study guides.

The test is untimed; please allow enough time to finish your test. New students should plan to spend two hours on the placement test. View the testing schedule.

Keep in mind

  • Placement tests are not pass/fail, so preparing for your test is important!
  • This is not an admissions test, it is a way to determine the best English, reading, and math classes for you
  • Study samples are available online here
  • Testing is done at your high school or at the South Mountain campus
  • It can take up to 24 hours for your test scores to be entered into your academic file