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dc.contributor.authorBlack, Vicki
dc.description.abstractThis first part of this qualitative study began with an exploratory question. Thirteen presidents or designated representatives of Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) were asked what they perceived to be a need by their institution that could be identified or improved upon through research. After data analysis of the answers that were received from the presidents, the second purpose of the study was to determine the perception of TCU students about their educational experiences. The presidents wanted to know what their students thought of as strengths and areas for improvement in their educational experiences. The third purpose was to determine how TCU students described or understood the meaning they associated with their educational experiences. Using a hybrid exploratory-phenomenology approach, 45 students were interviewed. Data were analyzed thematically; findings were presented thematically and in alternate forms—composite chapters were written and poetic representations of the data were also presented. Overwhelmingly, students were very positive about their educational experiences; strengths included faculty and staff interactions, language and cultural preservation, and the feeling of belonging and excitement for learning. Areas for improvement included childcare, electronic support and transportation. Students felt that their education was pivotal in their success at communicating with members of their families and communities who were literate in the language and were the keepers of the tradition. They also described their education as being life-changing; they began to view education in a different perspective. They began to recruit their siblings, cousins and other family members to return to school for a GED and then to a TCU for formal education. Students also discussed the fact that they began to expect their children to attend a college or university. Tribal college administrators and faculty can use the information provided in this study to improve their respective colleges or universities. This can also be used to open a dialogue for students to discuss specific information with the administration and faculty at their colleges or universities. Higher education, in general, can benefit from the study by reviewing the successes that are important to American Indian and Native Alaskan students. INDEX WORDS: TCU; Students; Presidents; Strengths; Areas for improvement; Perceptions; Meaning
dc.subjectAreas for Improvements
dc.titleTribal colleges and universities
dc.title.alternativeperceptions of presidents and students
dc.description.departmentInstitute of Higher Education
dc.description.majorHigher Education
dc.description.advisorRonald Simpson
dc.description.advisorJudith Preissle
dc.description.committeeRonald Simpson
dc.description.committeeJudith Preissle
dc.description.committeeJace Weaver
dc.description.committeeErik Ness

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