Footprints on a Path Less-Traveled: Perspectives of Indigenous Scholars on their Successful Negotiation of Doctoral Programs
AuthorGalda, Duff Caron
KeywordsAmerican Indian Education
Doctoral Degree Completion
Indigenous Nation Building
Native American Education
AdvisorShort, Kathy G.
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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, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis study, theoretically framed in Indigenous Nation Building, documented personal and educational experiences impacting the academic trajectories and completion of doctoral degree programs by thirty-five Indigenous scholars who sought doctoral degrees in public universities in the United States. The study employed qualitative research methodologies and utilized a collaborative model of tribal participatory research to identify the original motivations of Indigenous scholars to commence advanced degree programs requiring successful negotiation of the frequently perplexing and commonly frustrating labyrinth that is the Academy. The study called on the collaboration of self-identified Indigenous scholars who had been enrolled in, were currently enrolled in, or who had graduated from doctoral programs in the U.S. to offer insights into factors that supported and challenged their ability to complete their doctoral programs. The study asked Indigenous scholars to describe their academic trajectories from childhood through their doctoral programs and sought to identify commonalities they shared. The study further solicited recommendations that could help academic institutions improve the retention and completion rates of Indigenous doctoral students. Finally, the study asked Indigenous scholars for suggestions they would offer to other Indigenous students considering enrolling in doctoral programs in order to ease their journeys and bolster their success. In a time when the completion rates of doctoral programs by Indigenous students in U.S. colleges and universities have been virtually flat-lined for generations and lag far behind those of any other ethnic group identified by the U.S. Census Bureau, the data from studies such as this is critical in rectifying the situation.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Language, Reading & Culture