ERIC Number: ED434790
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999
Reference Count: N/A
Improving the Recruitment and Retention of American Indian Students in Psychology.
Thomason, Timothy C.
There is a great need to increase the number of American Indian students in psychology, especially in clinical and counseling psychology. Nationally, there are fewer than 200 American Indian psychologists, and most mental health services for Indian people are provided by paraprofessionals, who may be poorly trained for this function. In addition, Indian people tend to experience more psychological problems than non-Indians, having higher rates of alcoholism, depression, and suicide. The lack of American Indian psychologists is a multifaceted problem, involving lack of cultural relevance of pathology-oriented models and lack of psychologist role models for prospective Indian students. The ability of university psychology programs to attract American Indian students is influenced by the small size and geographic concentration of the Indian population, the isolation of Indian students in rural areas and on reservations, student poverty, and biased admission criteria. Student recruitment efforts could be improved through the commitment and support of the entire psychology department, the recruitment of Indian faculty members, faculty travel to schools and tribal areas, advertisements in tribal publications, and establishment of an Indian student center on campus. Retention of Indian students in college could be improved by making reasonable accommodations for cultural differences, establishing support groups and mentoring relationships, and getting feedback from American Indian graduates. (Contains 28 references.) (SV)
Descriptors: American Indians, College Students, Higher Education, Labor Needs, Psychologists, Psychology, School Holding Power, Student College Relationship, Student Needs, Student Recruitment, Teacher Student Relationship
Northern Arizona University, Institute for Human Development, P.O. Box 5630, Flagstaff, AZ 86011. Tel: 520-523-4791.
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (ED/OSERS), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Northern Arizona Univ., Flagstaff. American Indian Rehabilitation Research and Training Center.