Learning a Little About Our Readership

Feb 15th, 1996 | By | Category: 7-4: Wildlife Management
By Marjane Ambler

We were very pleased to see that 89 readers took the time to fill out the survey in the fall 1995 issue of the Tribal College Journal. The tribal colleges continually struggle to educate federal lawmakers and private donors about their unique success record with American Indian students. The journal has embarked upon a campaign to increase the visibility of the tribal colleges and to make our publication more self-sufficient. At this time, the journal relies upon the generous support of the tribal colleges themselves through the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, the American Indian College Fund, as well as grants from the Lannan Foundation and the Carnegie Foundation.

In order to expand the number of subscribers and advertisers, we needed the information about the readers and your interests. Our thanks to Dr. Leonard Atencio, professor of economics at Fort Lewis College and his assistant, who compiled the results of the survey. They found that an average of 2.1 people read each issue, in effect doubling our circulation base and thus making the publication much more attractive to advertisers. Various readers said they share the journal with colleagues, students, legislators, and the local public library. Readers are interested in advertisements from book publishers, American Indian Studies programs, teaching resources, American Indian artists, educational events and conferences, faculty recruitment, and other corporate recruiters.

The average reader has subscribed for 2.3 years and has at least a bachelor’s degree (17 years average education). Based upon the survey, more than a third of our readers (39 percent) are educators, followed by other professions (26 percent). The average income per year is $45,000. Readers from 31 different states responded, with an average age of 56 and 1.9 children. Not surprisingly, most of you indicated that reading was one of your favorite pastimes.

In your comments, you indicated a strong commitment to education in general and especially to the tribal colleges and their students. Readers offered suggestions of specific tribes and individuals whom they wanted to see profiled. Some readers are Native Americans isolated in urban areas, who said the journal makes them feel more connected to issues that concern their people.

Other readers said they were interested in seeing updates on top graduates and their future plans and more details about each college’s size, curriculum, and faculty. This issue’s “On Campus” section reflects our response. We have also included World Wide Web addresses in several news items, at the request of readers. Other comments: “Your journal lets me know there is a better way to educate–through community spirit and cooperation, not malignant competition.” “It is especially important for Indians to tell their own stories… and put the lie to the myth of the vanishing Americans.”  “…assures me that my small contribution to the American Indian College Fund is well spent.”

Thanks to all of you. This is your journal, and we always want to hear your reactions to articles or the new design by Michael Gray. The journal’s pilot home page: http://www.fdl.cc.mn.us/tcj.

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