Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

"My Education, Not Only for Me and My Family but My People": Storied Experiences of Native American Students' College Choice at Four-Year Institutions in North Carolina
by Peters, Brian Anderson, Ph.D., North Carolina State University, 2018, 273; 10970037
Abstract (Summary)

While increased scholarship has begun to explore the stories of Native American students in higher education, less research has explored Native American student college choice. In this qualitative, narrative study, the experiences of seven Native American students’ college choice at four-year institutions in North Carolina were explored. Perna’s (2006) conceptual model of college choice provided a framework for the analysis. One research question guided this study: What were the storied experiences of Native American students from North Carolina when they chose to attend college?

Findings from this study indicate that Native American students described their college choice process through four themes: family, Native identity and community, external factors, and growth and opportunities. Native American students in this study were inspired by their families and Native communities to pursue higher education. The participants pursued medical and human services disciplines to return and support their Native communities after completing their degrees. To be successful and have a “home feeling” on campus, they looked for universities with thriving Native communities through student organizations and supportive Native faculty and staff. Factors such as distance from home, academic preparation, and federal recognition impacted the participants choice. Through the four themes of Native college choice, higher education researchers, policymakers, and administrators have a better understanding of how to connect and serve Native American students. With increased attention, Native American student participation rates within higher education may increase as they have a home feeling on campus and perceive higher education as a gateway for success for their families and communities.

Indexing (document details)
School: North Carolina State University
Department: Educational Research and Policy Analysis
School Location: United States -- North Carolina
Source: DAI-A 80/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Higher Education Administration, Native American studies, Higher education
Keywords: College choice, Higher education, Narrative methods, Native american, North carolina
Publication Number: 10970037
ISBN: 9780438284944
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