ERIC Number: ED310643
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Feb
American Indians in Graduate Education.
Kidwell, Clara Sue
CGS Communicator, v22 n2 p5,8 Feb 1989
The number of American Indians enrolled in institutions of higher education is very small. Enrollment figures for fall 1984 show Indians made up .68% of the total enrollment in institutions of higher education in the country, but only 15% of them were in universities. Their largest representation was in two-year institutions, where 54% of Indian students were enrolled. This is probably due to the existence of 25 Indian run community colleges. Preliminary data from the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) 1986 enrollment survey show Indians comprise .4% of graduate students in CGS institutions. The historical experience of American Indians with education provides a background for such underrepresentation in higher education, especially graduate education. Indian people in the past have had education used as a means of forcible acculturation to American society. Though many Indian parents value education for their children, expectations of the results are often vague because they themselves have limited educational experiences. A barrier to Indian access to higher education is the family income level. The federal government has played the major role in providing education for American Indians, and the Indian Education Act of 1972 laid the basis for greater involvement of Indian parents in the education of their children and greater access for Indian students to graduate education. The fact that few Indian students choose to enter graduate programs is due to many deep-seated cultural and historical factors as well as the socioeconomic status of many Indian families. Changes such as more financial opportunities and cooperation with tribal governments to respond to the needs for educational programs should be effected. (SM)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Council of Graduate Schools in the U.S., Washington, DC.