ERIC Number: ED368536
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Indian Colleges: A Means To Construct a Viable Indian Identity or a Capitulation to the Dominant Society?
Although tribal colleges were created to provide autonomy in higher education for American Indians, these colleges are dependent upon external sources for funds, personnel, and part of their legitimacy. Facing two sets of expectations, tribal-college administrators must manage problems experienced by their Indian clientele and adjust institutional routines to the cultural norms of Indian society while presenting the familiar appearance of a postsecondary educational institution to outside resource providers. Case studies of administration at Turtle Mountain Community College (North Dakota) and at Little Big Horn College (Montana) demonstrate the effects of funding dependencies on administrative and academic structures. As a consequence of funding dependencies, one site moved toward a more bureaucratized management system over time, while the other reported pressure to do so. Initially, administrators' professional credentials were crucial to the colleges' academic legitimacy. However, as the colleges gained institutional legitimacy, administrators' external roles as professionals became less salient than the bureaucratic structures they had established. Academic structuring showed an opposing trend, as expectations of 4-year transfer institutions forced a shift from informal flexible coursework taught by faculty with primarily bachelors degrees to a stable core of courses taught by faculty with advanced degrees. Despite the adoption of formal structures, however, day-to-day practices of both colleges continue to reflect the social patterns of Indian rather than mainstream society. (SV)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Institutional Image; Little Big Horn College MT; Turtle Mountain Community College ND
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 4-8, 1994).