The Rural College Student Experience

Episode #7: Native American Students in College

December 15, 2021 Season 1 Episode 7
The Rural College Student Experience
Episode #7: Native American Students in College
Show Notes

In the final episode of Season 1,  we are focusing on the experiences of Native American Students in College. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, Native American students make up just 19 percent of total college enrollment, the lowest of all racial and ethnic groups. Native American students also have the lowest six-year college graduation rate at 39 percent. Additionally, there are 32 accredited Tribal Colleges and Universities in the U.S. which enroll just under 9 percent of the Native American student population. 

While these statistics tell us WHAT is happening, they don’t get at the “WHY”. In this episode, we discuss some of those “whys” and how they affect native student enrollment. We also talk about the work that colleges and universities need to do in order to serve these students. 

In this episode, host Dr. Matt Newlin is joined by co-host today is Patience Teboe, a senior at Dakota Wesleyan University in South Dakota. Patience grew up in Bloomfield, Nebraska, and is a member of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska. In our conversation, she talks about “finding her people” on campus and discusses how having a “home” community helped her feel connected to the institution. She also shares her perspective about being a Native student who did NOT grow up on a reservation and how her experiences differ from Native students who did. 

Our guest on this episode is Dr. Marleigh Perez. Dr. Perez is the director of student success at Oregon State University Ecampus and coordinates the Ecampus Tribal Communities Initiative. She talks with us about how OSU is using virtual learning to expand tribal student access and enrollment, but also to strengthen the trust and relationships between OSU and the tribal communities in Oregon. 

Finally, this first season would not have been possible without our partners Believe in Students. We are so grateful for their partnership and support this season. If you haven’t had a chance yet, please follow them on Twitter at @believestudents