An analysis of tribal college student's backgrounds, motivations, and attitudes : the relationship to classroom retention

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Education, Health & Human Development


The purpose of this study was to determine if a relationship exists between students' backgrounds, motivations, and attitudes and their academic successes or failures while enrolled in a single core level general education class at the Blackfeet Community College. The study examined indicators as identified in the literature and as identified through a pilot survey given to students at the Blackfeet Community College. A literature review yielded little research on student classroom retention in tribal colleges. The population for this study was n=113 students enrolled in core level academic courses. These students responded to a survey developed specifically for this study and were subsequently tracked through the semester to determine academic success or failure. The survey responses were then analyzed to determine which student indicators or groups of indicators were indicative of student academic success or failure. The significant findings of this study revealed that students who were academically unsuccessful were less likely to re-enroll in the next year. Specific indicators were identified to suggest that students who had not completed high school or their GED were at-risk. Male students without school-age children are more likely to be academically unsuccessful than female students without school-age children and female students with school-age children are more likely to be academically unsuccessful than male students with school-age children. Also identified as at-risk were students who did not drive themselves to campus.




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