BROKEN ARROW, Oklahoma – For the average teenager, the American College Test is likely a step in the college preparation process they do not look forward to, perhaps even dread. However, it is still an important step. To properly prepare Native Students for this critical test, The Muscogee (Creek) Nation Accessing Choices in Education Program partnered with Northwestern State University to host an ACT prep workshop as part of an ongoing event series on May 25.
The Workshop covered the four standard ACT categories: English, mathematics, reading, and science. It provided an opportunity for Native American and Alaskan Students living within the MCN to take the next step in their college preparation by learning about the ins and outs of the ACT.
The Workshop’s keynote lecturer was Chad Cargill. Originally from Harrah, Oklahoma, Cargill tours the country lecturing on ACT preparation and sharing his story about his family and career. 2022 marks Cargill’s 30th year hosting workshops.
“I came from a simple home, and I went to my mom’s high school graduation.” Cargill said. “My dad lugged boxes in a warehouse for 30 years,” He was one of the first people in his family to go to college. No generation in his family had graduated college before.
Cargill’s career aspirations were set high. These aspirations would lead him to take the ACT. Cargill knew an excellent ACT score would open the door for collegiate scholarship opportunities, particularly at Oklahoma State University. He would later go on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Engineering.
Upon returning to his high school alma mater, Cargill helped instruct students on how to prepare for the ACT. When their test scores returned with positive results, Cargill realized he had a knack for lecturing. This began his career hosting ACT workshops.
“Really, it was a passion to help students,” Cargill said. “I put together a workshop packet. It’s almost the exact packet I use today”.
Cargill’s lecture not only teaches test content but also equips students with strategies to maximize their ACT scores. Cargill is extremely familiar with the test’s obstacles.
Although Cargill is not associated with ACT Inc., no one knows the ACT better than him. He took the test himself 18 times, increasing his score from 19 to 32. “You got to know the material. That’s the bottom line,” Cargill said.
The MCN ACE Program does more than offer ACT preparation services. They connect students with resources so they can accel after graduating high school. NSU is one of the universities that work with ACE to recruit prospective Native College Students. Sara Barnett, the NSU Tribal Center director, said the Muscogee (Creek) Nation is one of the top three represented tribes on campus.
According to ACE Youth Specialist Allen Toppah, many of the students ACE serves are first-generation college students. “They might have questions that they don’t have someone to reach out to, well with education advisement, we can sit down, sit together, give them pinpointers,” Toppah said.
It said a lot about how serious they took their college preparation for those students in attendance. The Workshop fell on a week when many schools had already let out for summer break.
ACE continues to offer services throughout the year, such as education advisement and online prep courses. They want to make sure their services are easily accessible to students.
The next ACE ACT Prep Workshop will be held at Green Country Technology Center in Okmulgee on June 16. Another ACT Workshop will be held on July 21 at the same location.
Eligibility is open to all 9-12th grade Native American and Alaskan Native Students who live and attend school in the Muscogee Nation Jurisdiction area. To register for an ACE ACT Workshop, visit: ACE ACT Test Prep Application (google.com)
To view prior coverage on the ACE ACT Workshop Prep Series, visit: ACT Test Prep Workshop with ACE Program – MVSKOKE Media.