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Grant to fund study of native students’ transfer trends

Amy Fann, prof, College of EducationNative Americans have the highest high school dropout rates, and the lowest college entrance and retention rates in the U.S. Nationally, only 17 percent of Native American students who graduate from high school attend any level of college, and compared to other racial/ethnic groups they are the least likely to transfer to universities or complete degrees.

In an effort to find programs that have proven successful in helping Native American students stay in school, Amy Fann, left, assistant professor of higher education in the College of Education, is beginning a research study to investigate degree completion and transfer trends among Native American and Alaska Native student populations.

Her goal for the study is to “identify programs found to help students succeed with their education,” she said. “Those successful programs could then be replicated all over the United States, which will help more students earn degrees.”

Fann is the lead investigator on the study, which is funded by a more than $130,000 grant from the TG Public Benefits Grant Program, awarded to support research advancing college access and completion. Colleagues included in the grant are College of Education higher education faculty Marc Cutright and Beverly Bower, and Janet Marling, Director of the National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students at UNT.

Fann’s research aims to explore factors and practices at 48 institutions, including Native American serving non-tribal institutions and tribal colleges, that help support community college degree completion and successful transfer to four-year institutions. In order to be designated a Native American serving non-tribal Institution, more than 10 percent of an institution’s student population must identify themselves as Native American or Alaska Native students. Tribal colleges are institutions primarily chartered by tribes, located on or near reservations.

Results of the study, which should take about one year to produce, will be presented at the American Indian and Alaska Native Student Postsecondary Access and Success conference in September 2012. The conference will be hosted by the transfer institute.

Posted on: Tue 09 August 2011

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