Supporting College Success for Native Students
Supporting College Success for Native StudentsAndee Bowden Associate Director, College Board & Julia Mosconi, Coordinator of Research and Engagement, Indigenous Education, Inc.,
On May 8, 2018, College Board was a proud sponsor of a convening of Native Scholarship Providers, educators, and researchers focusing on the representation of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian students in education research and data. The Convening was organized by College Board’s Access to Opportunity, College Readiness Assessment, and Research departments, in partnership with Indigenous Education, Inc. (IEI), the home of the Cobell Scholarship. The overall goal was to explore potential research and data sharing collaborations to enhance the collegiate success of Native students.
The convening began with an exploration of the exclusion of Native students from national data sets representing student outcomes by race, representation in STEM jobs, etc. Even outside of education data, the vast majority of data represented by race excludes information on American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian groups. The challenges students face around access to higher education cannot be fully addressed if they are not adequately represented in the data.
Organizations in attendance included American Indian College Fund, American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC), National College Access Network (NCAN), Achieving the Dream, Center for Indian Country Development, American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) , National Education Association (NEA), National Indian Education Association (NIEA), National Student Clearinghouse (NSC), Tribal Education Departments National Assembly (TEDNA), Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), and the US Department of Education.
The organizations discussed currently available data which could be shared across organizations and brainstormed both research needs and projects that should be undertaken, such as supporting data-sharing agreements between schools (both P-12 and post-secondary) and tribal nations, collecting data on students completing certificate programs, and exploring the types of degrees completed and degree levels obtained by Native students. Immediate next steps center around data and information sharing across the organizations, and a presentation at the upcoming National Indian Education Association (NIEA) conference in October 2018, focusing on the outcomes of the Convening as well as the collaborative goal of expanding data sharing agreements to the P-12 level.
It was a day of thoughtful conversation, honest dialogue around challenges, and the development of several practical ideas. A colleagued remarked: “it is rare that we spend a whole day discussing Native American students.”