The American Indian College Fund (the College Fund) announced today a new effort to study the impact of tribal colleges and universities (TCUs) on the overall well-being of graduates from five institutions. The study will occur over two years and is funded through a $600,000 grant from Strada Education NetworkSM, a national nonprofit dedicated to strengthening pathways from education to employment.
Working with the North Dakota Association of Tribal Colleges, the College Fund will determine the statewide and individual institutional economic and social return on investment of five TCUs in North Dakota to illustrate the value of a TCU education and the importance of continued public and private investment of these dynamic institutions. Participating TCUs include Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College, Sitting Bull College, United Tribes Technical College, Turtle Mountain Community College, and Cankdeska Cikana Community College.
The project will also assess graduate employment and conduct a Gallup College Values survey of 5,000 College Fund scholars to gather information about the value of an education rooted in Native American values. A pilot study focused on how TCUs serve their communities through preservation and restoration of languages and culture and how they build strong American Indian nations will also be conducted.
Cheryl Crazy Bull, President and CEO of the American Indian College Fund, said, “Since their founding in the late 1960s, tribal colleges and universities strived to describe their economic and social impact on individuals and communities. This project helps us tell the tribal college story of student success, economic contributions, and impact on society. Strada is a collaborator and partner, helping us frame our research and supporting outreach to nationally recognized experts. We appreciate their investment.”
The two-year project will conclude in September 2019. Upon completion of the project, the College Fund will publish and share the results with state and federal policymakers.
“Tribal colleges and universities have often been overlooked in regard to the critical role they play in serving students from our country’s Native American populations with the postsecondary education they need to advance in their careers and lives,” said Bill Hansen, president and CEO of Strada Education Network. “This research in partnership with Gallup will promote greater understanding of the impact tribal colleges and universities have on student success.”
Tribal colleges and universities are located in communities on or near American Indian reservations and provide an accredited, affordable, and culturally relevant higher education to Native Americans and others in their communities. The first TCU was established in 1967 by the Navajo Nation. Today 35 accredited TCUs are located across the nation, often in remote, rural locations.
About Strada Education Network
Strada Education Network is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to catalyzing more direct and promising pathways between education and employment. Strada engages education, nonprofit, business and government partners to focus relentlessly on students’ success throughout all phases of their working lives. Together with its partners, Strada addresses critical postsecondary education and workforce challenges through a combination of strategic philanthropy, research and insights, and mission-aligned member organizations – all focused on advancing the universal right to realized potential, which Strada calls Completion With a Purpose®. For more information, visit www.stradaeducation.org and follow us on Twitter @StradaEducation.