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Recruitment, Retention, and Support Services for Alaska Native Students at the University of Alaska Anchorage

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Brian Albertsen

on 26 September 2013

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Transcript of Recruitment, Retention, and Support Services for Alaska Native Students at the University of Alaska Anchorage

But What's Under the Surface?
The Tip of the Iceberg
The retention rate for degree seeking students at the University of Alaska Anchorage is....
Best Practices for Alaska Native Students
Challenges Alaska Native Students Face
Further Considerations
What within our own organization that is challenging Alaska Native students?
What organizational practices are inconsistent with the Alaska Native population?
Attributing the lack of success as self-inflicted does not solve the problem
How has UAA's history impacted the campus climate for Alaska Native students?
Recommended Reading: "One University, Two Universes: Alaska Natives and the University of Alaska Anchorage" - Michael Jennings & Robin Collier (2002)
Do institutional resources and support services equate to a welcoming environment?
What are the retention rates and graduation rates for students who participate in the Alaska Native Science and Engineering (ANSEP) program?

What else do you want to know about this topic?
The retention rate for Alaska Native students at the University of Alaska Anchorage is....
About the presenter...
Conference Services Summer Intern
Current College Student Personnel Graduate Student at Western Illinois University
Professional Interests: Admissions, Recruiting, Marketing, Enrollment Management, and Access to Higher Education

About the presentation...
Interest in Alaska Native Population
We all have some level of experience and
knowledge on the topic
Before we get started...
Alaska is cold!
Data and Review of Literature
Future Considerations
Recruitment, Retention, and Support Services for
Alaska Native Students at the University of Alaska Anchorage

Prepared and Presented By:
Brian Albertsen
2013 Conference Services Intern
University of Alaska Anchorage
3 Challenges Alaska Native Students Face
Little Connection to Family and/or Tribal Community

Underprepared for College Coursework

Cultural Assimilation/Identity Questioning
Cultural Assimilation
Little Connection to Family and/or Tribal Community
Underprepared for College Coursework
American Indian/Alaska Native College Student Retention Strategies
"Several students in the study mentioned that their primary motivation to persist through college was a desire to give their families a better life through their education as well as make a positive impact on the tribal communities they wish to serve."
(Guillory, 2009, pg. 18)
The American Indian and Alaska Native Student's Guide to College Success
"Family Support - "Students talked about the strong encouragement and support they received" and as in other studies it "was positively related to commitment to academic achievement.""
(Pavel and Inglebret, 2007, pg. 89)
American Indian/Alaska Native Undergraduate Retention at Predominatly White Institutions: An Elaboration of Tinto's Theory of College Student Departure
"Educational models that incorporate the strengths present in AI/AN student relationship with extended family as defined by AI/AN culture, would allow students to embrace their cultural identity as an anchor to their values."
( Lee, Donald, & Brown, 2010, pg. 272)
The American Indian and Alaska Native Student's Guide to College Success
""American Indian and Alaska Native students may go through an initial period of alienation during the higher education experience as they find the process to be unfamiliar and disjointed from life in their home communities. However, with perseverance students can move on to discover the their Native identities are a strength that will carry them through the college experience."
(Pavel and Inglebret, 2007, pg. 153)
Conceptualizing American Indian/Alaska Native College Students’ Classroom Experiences: Negotiating Cultural Identity between Faculty and Students
“Evidence of Eurocentric, privileged cultural values and traditions are embedded in the homogeneous perspectives depicted in college curriculum, which may deny American Indian/Alaska Native students cultural relevance or opportunities for academic success.”
(Burk, 2006, pg. 36)
“Many of the competencies regarding in the basic communication course may prove culturally incongruent with American Indian/Alaska Native values, beliefs, and traditions.”
(Burk, 2006, pg. 36)
Interesting Findings
Top Down Leadership for Multicultural Initiatives
“According to administrators and faculty, if universities offer academic programs with strong appeal for AI/AN they will be more inclined to finish college. One university president stated: “I think some individual attention, some tailoring of programs and advising [and meeting] special cultural needs strengthen a Native American’s commitment to persisting through on graduation.” Ironically, such a focus on specific programming for the individual student was never mentioned by the AI/AN students in the study.”
(Guillory, 2009, pg. 16)
Alaska Native Faculty Numbers
Of the 576 faculty members on the UAA campus, only 29 (5.03%) identify as Alaska Native
(The Office of Institutional Research, 2012)
Organizational History
It is extremely important to note the history between UAA and Alaska Natives.
Early 1990's saw student protests and uprising with an uncooperative administration
Burk, M. N. (2007). Conceptualizing American Indian/Alaska Native college students’ classroom experiences: Negotiating cultural identity between faculty and students. Journal of American Indian Education, 46(2). Retrieved from: http://proxy.consortiumlibrary.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eft&AN=507950143&site=ehost-live

Doyle, A., Kleinfeld, J., Reyes, M. (2009. The educational aspirations/attainment gap amongst rural Alaska native students. The Rural Educator, 30(3), 25-33. Retrieved from http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/detail?accno=EJ869312

Guillory, R. M. (2009). American Indian/Alaska Native College Student Retention Strategies. Journal of Developmental Education. 33(2). Retrieved from: http://search.proquest.com/docview/846785556

Inglebret, E., & Pavel, M. D. (2007) The American Indian and Alaska Native student’s guide to college success. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Jennings, M. L., & Collier, J. R. (2002). One university, two universes: Alaska Natives and the university of Alaska Anchorage. In D. Champagne & J. Stauss (Eds.), Native American studies in higher education: Models for collaboration between universities and indigenous nations. (203-227). New York: Altamira Press.

Lee, J., Donlan, W., Brown, E. F. (2010). American Indian/Alaska Native undergraduate retention at predominantly white institutions: An elaboration of Tinto’s theory of college student departure. Journal of College Student Retention. 12(3). Retrieved from: http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/detail?accno=EJ903058

McKinley, B., Brayboy, J., Fann, A. J., Castagno, A. E., Solyom, J. A. (2012). Postsecondary education for American Indian and Alaska Natives: higher education for nation building and self-determination. ASHE Higher Education Report. 37. doi: 10.1002/aehe.3705

Reyes, M. E. (2000). What does it take? Successful Alaska Native students at the university of Alaska Anchorage. Journal of College Student Retention. 2(2). Retrieved from: http://search.proquest.com/docview/196728455

The Office of Institutional Research. (2012). 2012 Factbook. Retrieved from http://www.uaa.alaska.edu/ir/publications/factbook/upload/Fact-Book-2012.pdf

The Office of Institutional Effectiveness, Engagement, and Academic Support (2012). Performance 12’. Retrieved from http://www.uaa.alaska.edu/institutionaleffectiveness/upload performance-12-for-web.pdf

Yang, R. K., Byers, S. R., Fenton, B. (2006). American Indian/Alaska Native student use’ of a university student support office. Journal of American Indian Education. 45(1). Retrieved from: http://proxy.consortiumlibrary.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eft&AN=507855406&site=ehost-live
(The Office of Institutional Effectiveness, Engagement, and Academic Support, 2012, pg. 64)
(The Office of Institutional Effectiveness, Engagement, and Academic Support, 2012, pg. 67)
What Does it Take? Successful Alaska Native Students at the University of Alaska Fairbanks
"I came to Fairbanks to attend high school, and it was basically a nightmare because I wasn't ready academically or socially to success in a large school setting.... At the time, to attend high school, you had to leave home and you were brought into the city to live with people you didn't know....There was no support; it was a hard time"
(Reyes, 2002, pg. 152)
The Educational Aspirations/Achievement Gap Among Rural Alaska Native Students
"We didn't get a good education. You only have to be at a seventh grade math for levels for the standards to pass. You can go on to higher education but the teachers focus on the low end."
"I don't think I have enough knowledge to go onto college. It (high school) is just too easy, the graduation requirements and the standards they have."
"Data from the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development showed that 60 to 90% of the students were not proficient in reading, writing, or math on the Alaska High School Graduation Qualifying Exam."
(Doyle, Kleinfeld, & Reyes, 2009, pg. 28)
The American Indian and Alaska Native Student's Guide to College Success
If you don't take college-level prep classes, then be clear about the fact that you may not be as academically prepared as some of your other classmates in four-year colleges and find other ways to prepare yourself academically.
(Pavel & Inglebret, 2007, pg. 86)
Recommendation 1
Establish and Maintain Partnerships with Tribal and Bush Community Villages
Recommendation 2
Develop Summer Transition Programs for Underprepared Alaska Native Students
Recommendation 3
Aggressively Recruit and Retain Alaska Native Faculty and Staff
Based on the Review of Literature, a survey of the UAA campus environment, and Best Practices at other institutions, presented are three recommendations to improve the educational experiences of Alaska Native students.
"Native faculty also serve a critical role in mentoring and advising students. Not only do they advise students within their departments and disciplinary areas, Indigenous faculty typically mentor Indigenous students from across campus and advise other students of color and White students interested in Native issues."
"Indigenous faculty typically mentor Indigenous students from across campus and advise other students of color and White students interested in Native issues. This is consistent with other research showing that racially diverse faculty assist in the recruitment and retention of students of color in higher education."
(McKinley, BrayBoy, Fann, Castagno, & Solyom, 2012, pg. 94)

Specific Recommendations
When hiring a new position, advertise the job announcement in diverse locations, including locations that Alaska Natives would see the posting
If the job requires a Bachelor's or Master's, create the position so that the person may complete the degree while in the position.
If the employee welcomes the idea, create a mentor program with the
Alaska Native Faculty/Staff and Alaska Native student staff
in the department.
Create a Shared Vision of Success for Alaska Native Students
Bridging the cultures to define what success looks like for both parties could be one of the missing keys to success for Alaska Native students.
Extended Familial Values – Partnerships help create a fostering environment
If a student is struggling at the institution, the values of extended family could be adopted both at the institution and at home. Having this shared culture would be invaluable since it provides a consistent environment
Partnership Can Happen Anywhere
Partnerships does not have to be at the institutional level

Specific Recommendations:
Find appropriate ways to reach out to the families of
Alaska Native students within your
department to support

Be proactive in preparing Alaska Native students for their transition academically and socially
This program would include a rigorous summer course schedule to prepare students in math, science, and writing
Specific Recommendations
Create an on campus summer transition program for all Alaska Native students who are identified as underprepared
Identify specific shared values of the student and the institution and start the conversation about transulturation
Attempt to have students visit their home
communities or family visit UAA
Montana State University
Caring for our Own: a Reservation/University Partnership
The CO-OP program is a partnership of university nursing educators with tribal leaders, reservation-based educators, and native health care administration on the Indian reservations.
This partnership benefits the University community as well as the Indian reservation community
"University programs which directly connect AI/AN students to their native communities could prove successful for both recruitment and retention purposes."
(Guillory, 2009, pg. 18)
University of Alaska Fairbanks
The Elders-In-Residence program is sponsored by the Native Studies Department at UAF
The program sponsors tradition bearers to love on campus for an extended period of time each semester
Students are able to access the rich traditions, stories, and culture through formal and informal interactions with the Elders
Elders also play a key role in the Alaska Native Knowledge Network
This program has produced expansive literature on the Alaska Native culture and heritage
Pavel & Inglebret, 2007, pg. 132)
Best Practices
Full transcript