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Alvina Cawston

 2004 Research

Abstract: An examination of Retention Factors in Native American Undergraduates & Alumni

Mentors: Dr. Gail Hicks, Dr. Theresa Martin, Jacqueline Geddes, and Nick Redding

The American Indian population is comparatively young growing population (U.S. Census Bureau, 2001). However, the number of Native American students attending 4-year colleges to completion is very small when compared to other groups. According to the U.S. Department of Education, the percentage of Native Americans enrolled in degree granting institutions in the year 2000 was 1% of the total student body (National Center for Education Statistics [NCES], 2003). In 2001-02, the percentage of Native Americans receiving bachelor's degree was 0.7%, master's, 0.5%, and doctorate, 0.4% (NCES, 2003) of degrees granted. This is problematic for the Native American communities and society as a whole. The future of Native American communities depends on younger generations and an education is necessary in order to lead Native communities effectively in a dominant society. Furthermore, the majority of society is seeing a decline in the pursuit of higher education. This is not only a problem within the Native American communities, but society in general. It is essential to address this issue so that factors which affect the attrition rate of Native American students can be identified, examined, and resolved with recommendations which help to increase the retention rate.


Plateau Indian Conference; Diabetes Panel/WSU: Sept. 29-30, 2004

University of Missouri Access to Knowledge Symposium, Nov. 11-13, 2004

WA State Psychological Conference/Seattle: Oct. 1-3, 2004

8th Annual Research & CW Symposium, EWU, May 18, 2005

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