Taking the Next Step: Promoting Native American Student Success in American Indian/Native American Studies Graduate Programs
AuthorBlair, Mark L.M.
AdvisorTippeconnic-Fox, Mary Jo
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractNative American doctoral student enrollment has not increased over the past twenty years, despite a steady increase in enrollment at the undergraduate level. Native Americans are the only group to not see an increase in doctoral degrees granted. There are many individual and institutional factors affecting Native American student success such as cultural and social isolation, financial stressors, racism, and access to indigenous faculty and mentoring. What are American Indian/Native American Studies (AIS/NAS) programs doing about it? AIS/NAS programs are uniquely qualified to address these factors. They were originally created to increase enrollment and recruitment of Native American students on campuses. Many of these programs have incorporated Native student retention into their missions and are often the only ones taking the next step to promote Native American graduate student success on campus. There are eight "pure" AIS/NAS graduate programs in the country. "Pure" means that the program is a stand-alone unit and the degree is earned in AIS/NAS. There are only three such doctoral programs in AIS/NAS: University of Alaska Fairbanks, University of California-Davis, and the University of Arizona. The University of Arizona is the number one doctoral degree granting institution in the United States for Native American students. Despite lack of funding and resources, forty percent of these doctoral recipients are from the American Indian Studies Program. A mixed method approach consisting of intense empirical research and data mining was used in order to find enrollments of Native students, identify AIS/NAS programs and enrollment trends, and identify factors affecting student success. Native American students are vastly underreported in the federal data base (IPEDS), which affects federal student aid and relegates many students invisible. The following were identified as the key factors for Native American graduate student success: determination and resiliency, supportive relationships through mentoring and access to faculty, and a desire to give back to their communities. It is recommended that AIS/NAS graduate programs honor their land grant obligations in order to increase access and funding for Native students through endowments and tuition waiver programs, develop a detailed mentoring plan, and improve outreach to Native communities.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
American Indian Studies