The Choctaw Nation: A Tribal Model for Success in Higher Education

Abstract:
As higher education has become a very prominent part of American culture, American Indian students have continued to struggle to earn college degrees. Numerous studies indicate that American Indian students have one of the highest dropout rates and lowest retention rates among so-called "ethnic groups." Yet, there are tribes around the United States that have overcome these barriers and have experienced success in sending students to higher educational institutions. For example, the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma view education as a stepping stone for advancement in today's world and as a means to connect and reconnect to tribal roots. This thesis is a descriptive project that documents the success of the Choctaw Nation in sending students to higher education institution. In addition, factors are identified that can be used as a case model for other tribal nations, which include the high value placed on Choctaw Indigenous knowledge, treaty provisions that support education, education policies that send students to schools in groups, emphasis on encouraging students to return home after graduation, the existence of institutions of higher education with a Choctaw orientation, a high number of positive role models and the commitment of the Choctaw Nation leadership to higher education.

Author: 

Alisse Ali-Christie

Chair: 

Robert Martin

Publication: 

thesis

Year: 

2006

Arizona State Museum: 

M9791 A43c
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences