22-4 “Honoring Student Success” Resource Guide

May 13th, 2011 | By | Category: 22-4: Honoring Student Success, Online resource guides, Resource Guides, Web Exclusive
By Dr. Stacey Sherwin

Resource Guide Related to Retention, Persistence, and Success of American Indian and Alaska Native students

Also see Juan A. Avila Hernandez’s article, “Empowering Students for Success—College share best practices for keeping students on track” in Vol. 18, No. 1 of Tribal College Journal.  Soon, subscribers can read more of TCJ’s past coverage of retention and student success by visiting our online archives at: http://www.tribalcollegejournal.org/archives/category/themagazine/archivestoc

Primary Data

U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. Status and trends in the education of American Indians and Alaska Natives: 2008.
Available at:  http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2008084

This report provides basic data concerning the educational status of American Indian/Alaska Native children and adults.

Policy and Advocacy Reports

Brayboy, B.M.K. (2006). Indigenous men in higher education. The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, Health Policy Institute.

This paper addresses the phenomenon of college enrollment and college completion of Indigenous men. While noting the paucity of data specific to the retention of American Indian males, the author identifies five prominent factors that impact success of American Indian postsecondary students.

Institute for Higher Education Policy (2007). The path of many journeys: The benefits of higher education for Native people and communities.

The focus of this report is the importance of investment in higher education of American Indian and Alaska Natives.  Additionally, the report provides data concerning American Indian students who enroll in college as well as an overview of the importance of tribal colleges.

Trujillo, O.V., D.A. Alston (2005). A report on the status of American Indians and Alaska Natives in education: Historical legacy to cultural empowerment. National Educational Association.

While this report contains old data, it provides a historical overview of the educational attainment and performance of American Indians and Alaska Natives from K-12. The focus is primarily primary and secondary schools, but the timeline of American Indian education, data about secondary school completion, and recommendations for practice are pertinent to postsecondary education.

Classic Research on Retention of American Indian Postsecondary Students

Early research on retention of American Indian/ Alaska Native students tended to focus on the characteristics of students who did or did not persist in postsecondary education. This series of articles is listed in chronological order, as it is interesting to follow the development of research related to retention of these students.

Patton, W., E.D. Edington (1973). Factors related to the persistence of Indian students at college level. Journal of American Indian Education [electronic version], 12(3).
This purpose of this early study was to identify factors related to persistence of American Indian students in higher education. The study is interesting in its attempts to “classify” students and look only at student characteristics, with no discussion of institutional characteristics, programs, or the interaction between students and their educational environment.

Falk, D.R., L.P. Aitken (1984). Promoting retention among American Indian college students. Journal of American Indian Education [electronic version], 23(2).
This qualitative study reported factors perceived by educators and students as significant for retention of American Indian students. Students reported that lack of academic preparation, inadequate financial support, lack of study skills, and inadequate career preparation in high school were among the factors that impacted their success. Educators reported that good academic preparation in high school, personal motivation, adequate financial support, and the presence of faculty/staff who are American Indian was important to American Indian student retention.

Hoover, J.J., & Jacobs, C.C. (1992). A survey of American Indian college students: Perceptions toward their study skills/college life. Journal of American Indian Education, 32(1), 21-29.
This survey research studied the perceptions of American Indian college/university students concerning college instruction, attendance at college, and study skills. There is a limited discussion of implications for practice.

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