Department

Leadership

Date of Paper/Work

2021

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Leadership (Ed.D.)

Type of Paper/Work

Dissertation

Advisors

Sarah J. Noonan, Chientzu Candace Chou, Aura Wharton-Beck

Abstract

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this qualitative case study was to investigate the contributing factors which increased retention and a 90% graduation rate for Native students enrolled in a single Midwestern school district. A large disparity exists between the graduation rates of White students and American Indian/Alaskan Natives enrolled in public schools nationwide (National Center for Education Statistics, 2016). I investigated how an Indian Education program in partnership with a local school district provided a comprehensive plan to serve Native students. Interviews, documents, and observations were used to collect data. Native students navigated racism and historical trauma. The program components addressed historical trauma and the types of educational support needed to ensure higher rates of student success. The Indian Education program implemented strategies to counteract negative experiences of Native students in school. The components included: (1) fostering relationships and communication; (2) providing tutoring; (3) placing liaisons in schools; (4) providing summer programming and culture camp; (5) encouraging communication with Tribal elders, family, and Community members; (6) providing advocacy; (7) offering professional development; (8) supporting an alternative high school program; and (9) providing graduation incentives. Some of the implication and recommendations for improvement included an emphasis on Native history and culture; knowledge of boarding schools and its effectives; recognizing and adopting trauma-informed practices; offering professional development on race, racism, and bias training, improving curriculum, and providing direct support to Native students inside the classroom. Program initiatives increased Native graduation rates from less than 20% to over 90%.

Keywords: historical trauma, intergenerational trauma, Native American graduation rates, Indian Education programming, Indian Education

Keywords

historical trauma, intergenerational trauma, Native American graduation rates, Indian Education programming, Indian Education

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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