ERIC Number: ED351047
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
American Indians in Higher Education: The Community College Experience. ERIC Digest.
Pavel, D. Michael; Colby, Anita Y.
The educational approaches, programs, and services developed for American Indians at both tribal colleges and non-tribal community colleges can be used as models by other institutions seeking to serve minority populations better. The community college is an important avenue for American Indians pursuing postsecondary degrees; in 1988, 50,400 of the 92,000 American Indians enrolled in higher education were attending two-year colleges, and associate degrees constituted nearly 40% of the total number of degrees conferred to American Indians in 1989-90. While several of the 25 tribal colleges award baccalaureate and master's degrees, and one is a university, these institutions, like community colleges, are among the most community-responsive in higher education. The success of tribal colleges can be attributed to their combining distinctive cultural elements with a pragmatic approach to education. Because instructors act as agents of Indian history, language, and culture, students learn that their communities' beliefs have great value, while simultaneously acquiring the skills necessary for future educational and occupational endeavors. Tribal colleges also experiment with culturally conscious approaches to instruction, emphasizing visual and cooperative learning. Among the non-Indian community colleges that have been especially responsive to Indian students are: (1) San Juan College (New Mexico), which has developed a set of interrelated services that attract and retain American Indians; (2) American River College (California), which has created the Mathematics, Engineering, and Science Achievement/Minority Engineering Program; and (3) Truman College (Illinois), which has developed the Institute for Native American Development. (MAB)
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse for Junior Colleges, Los Angeles, CA.