American Indian/Alaska Native College Student Retention Strategies
This article compares beliefs about successful student retention strategies between American Indian/Alaska Native students and postsecondary institutional representatives. While institutional representatives identified financial support as a primary motivator for college completion, AI/AN students identified the desire to live up to family expectations as a high persistence factor. AI/AN students also identified campus-based supports that create “community” as another factor supporting persistence. Both students and institutional representatives agreed that a lack of academic preparation from K-12 schooling create barriers for students once enrolled in a university.
The author makes three recommendations for supporting and retaining AI/AN students: create programs that support AI/AN students in maintaining a strong connection between their schools and their tribal communities; provide social and financial supports for students who are single parents or those who have families; and provide academic assistance through peer mentoring programs that connect AI/AN students to one another.