Alumni Progress Report Cites High Satisfaction

Nov 15th, 2007 | By | Category: 19-2: Our Story, Our Way, Tribal College News

Researchers have interviewed scholarship recipients to find out how their tribal colleges and their scholarships served them and helped them prepare for employment and further education. Their report points to the benefits students received from tribal colleges and universities (TCUs) as well as the importance of financial aid received from a variety of sources.

Commissioned by the American Indian College Fund, the report (Championing Success: A Report on the Progress of Tribal College and University Alumni) was prepared by the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP). A total of 247 graduates were included. Highlights of the report include the following:

Nearly all (91%) of the scholarship recipients interviewed were non-traditional students, meaning they had dependents, were older than 24, had not been enrolled continuously, worked full time while enrolled, or a combination of more than two of these characteristics.

Most of the recipients were employed (60%) and/or had pursued further education (47%) since graduation. A substantial proportion (22%) were working and going to school simultaneously.

Seventy-one percent of graduates who were working reported that their education was good or excellent preparation for employment; 69% of those continuing their education believed their TCU provided good or excellent preparation for further education.

Eighty-six percent of respondents were satisfied with the courses in their major or field of study. Further, 83% were satisfied with their contact with faculty and administrators; 82% were satisfied with the overall quality of instruction; and 78% were satisfied with curricula on tribal culture.

While many scholarships limit funds usage, recipients used funding from the American Indian College Fund in a variety of ways. Most commonly, recipients used their scholarships for living expenses (77%), books and supplies (66%), transportation (58%), and tuition and fees (56%).

The primary authors were Courtney McSwain and Alisa Cunningham at IHEP. The report can be downloaded from the College Fund’s website, www.collegefund.org/news/publications.html.

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