The call for increased information about investments in higher education is growing, both locally and nationally. Tribal Colleges and Universities welcome that responsibility, as evidenced by our commitment to AIHEC’s landmark data collection initiative, American Indian Measures of Success (AIHEC AIMS), which was launched in 2004 with generous funding from the Lumina Foundation for Education. Scholarly reports, such as The Path of Many Journeysthe Benefits of Higher Education for Native People and Communities, funded by USA Funds and written by the Institute for Higher Education Policy, provide further evidence of the value of investing in Tribal Colleges and Universities. Through data collection and analysis, annual reports, and scholarly publications, we are telling our storyour successes, our challenges, and our goals. Our story is one of vision and continuous improvement. We are honored to share this story with you.
Tribal Colleges Breaking Through, a partnership of Jobs for the Future, the National Council for Workforce Education, and the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, was an 18-month initiative focused on piloting workforce and education strategies to better serve low-skilled students at tribal colleges and universities. Six institutions participated—Comanche Nation College, Leech Lake Tribal College, Little Big Horn College, Northwest Indian College, Salish Kootenai College, and Sitting Bull College—with each establishing two or more cohorts of GED or workforce students and incorporating the four Breaking Through core strategies: Accelerated Learning, Comprehensive Support Services, Labor Market Payoffs, and Aligning Programs for Low-skilled Adults.
The Breaking Through Initiative briefing paper examines the prospects for TCUs to enhance services to tribal people through implementation of the Breaking Through
model for accelerated learning and career preparation. The paper discusses some factors that impact the education of American Indian students, the role of the nation's TCUs, the cultural uniqueness of American Indian communities, and the Breaking Through
strategies within the context of challenges faced by TCUs.
The Breaking Through model focuses on adults with limited reading and math skills and provides them with the education and training needed to become successfully employed. Four Breaking Through strategies that have proven effective at 40 mainstream community colleges hold great promise for TCUs: Accelerated Learning, Comprehensive Support Services, Labor Market Payoffs, and Aligning Programs.
AIHEC AIMS helps build capacity in data collection and accountability at TCUs and in doing so strengthens the ability of TCUs to measure success, build the foundation for systemic program change, and ultimately increase the participation and success of American Indian students in higher education. Within this report, AIHEC uses data collected through AIHEC AIMS to highlight aspects of this unique sector of American higher education. Using data collected from academic year (AY) 2003–04 to AY 2009–10, this report describes historical trends and the current status of TCU enrollment, education costs and funding, and curricula. This year’s report also highlights challenges and successes at TCUs, discusses innovative academic and community-based programs, and shares the perspectives of alumni who continue to contribute to the vitality of TCUs today.
Prepared for American Indian Higher Education Consortium by Anne Marie Karlbery, this report is second in a series of monographs advancing Native knowledge in Tribal Colleges and Universities. Assessment is a powerful tool that can help tribal colleges better serve their communities and accomplish their missions. More specifically, assessment is a systematic process of gathering, interpreting, and using information regarding student performance and perceptions to improve student learning and advance a college’s mission. Although many tribal colleges struggle with their assessment programs and efforts, Indigenous educators increasingly recognize assessment as a priority for internal improvement as well as for accreditation purposes. Tribal colleges have substantial motivation to succeed in their assessment efforts, in large part because of their unique missions and focus on the self-determination of Native people.
This third installment in the series of reports from the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, prepared by Systemic Research, Inc., highlights outstanding achievements by the colleges, students, and faculty. The report uses the new AIHEC American Indian Measures for Success in Higher Education (AIHEC AIMS) data collection system. The overarching goals of the AIHEC-AIMS initiative are to build capacity in data collection and accountability at Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), strengthen TCUs ability to measure success, lay the foundation for systemic program change, and ultimately increase American Indian participation and success in higher education.
A report by the Institute for Higher Education Policy in collaboration with the American Indian Higher Education Consortium and the American Indian College Fund Funding for this project was made possible through the generous support of USA Funds. This report outlines both the challenges of college participation as well as the benefits of investing in higher education for American Indians and argues that higher education is one of the main drivers of economic and social development for all American Indian communities.