BARRIERS AND FACILITATORS OF ACADEMIC SUCCESS AMONG AIAN STEM STUDENTS: A LITERATURE REVIEW

Lyle Shorty , Amanda Tachine, M.A., Teshia G. Arambula Solomon, Ph.D.

BARRIERS AND FACILITATORS OF ACADEMIC SUCCESS AMONG AIAN STEM STUDENTS: A LITERATURE REVIEW

American Indians and Alaska Natives (AIAN) are the least likely of all the ethnic groups in the US to attain a college education (Benjamin, Chambers, & Reiterman, 1993). Detachment from family, culture and spirituality caused by past abuses, such as forced relocation, language loss, abuses in boarding school are all contributing factors to the struggles AIAN face in higher education. A majority of literature pertaining to AIAN higher education access, retention and matriculation focus on two distinct themes. Articles written before 1970 emphasize that Native culture, religion, and family deter AIAN students from higher education. Articles written post 1990 support the idea that in order to succeed in higher education AIAN students must walk in two worlds, one that is “Native” and one that is Western. Rather than focusing on the negative aspects of why AIAN fail, the purpose of this study is to determine factors found that facilitate AIAN success in obtaining a college degree. Factors that have been found to contribute to academic success include family involvement, participation in cultural activities, and retaining native language (Waterman, S. J. 2007).

 

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