AIS Why do Indian college students have high dropout rates? Why do Indian college students have hard times in college, and university atmospheres? Why do Indian college students have difficult times when it comes to making good grades? Maybe its because they have no role models in the home. Maybe they cant relate to individuals with different cultures and backgrounds? Perhaps it is something simple as having poor study habits. The answers could Possibly be that Indian college students are just uncomfortable in a college environment, and dont have an Indian studies program to go to, as in Reyhners essay.
Whatever the reason may be Indian college students are scarce within the college scene, just as Indian people are in the United States of America. Native American Studies departments, according to Jon Reyhner, are critical to providing a positive university environment for Native students(NAS) help keep Indian students in school by providing them with a university home(Reyhner 106). I dont believe that American Indian Studies programs will keep Indian students in college. I believe, the desire of wanting to achieve and excel in academics for what it has to offer, will keep Indian college students in college. I believe that Jon Reyhner gives excellent points in defining the reasons for Indian students dropping out of college, but I have to disagree about his ideals on keeping them in. It seems Reyhner feels that Indian Studies Programs will give Indian students a place to show their truest identity, in turn giving them enough comfort to strive through and finish a college degree. Native college and university students, just as any other student in higher education, have distinct backgrounds and different ways of thinking.
Although many Indian people come from similar histories of assimilation, cultural disappearance, slaughter, and sacrifice, the adaptability of an Indian person within college depends upon their perspective, attitude, and envolvment, in such environments. I wish American Indian Studies departments in colleges and universities could keep Indian Students from quitting, but the reality of the matter is that Indian people have little to relate to in the college world. Colleges and Universities, in a way, are businesses selling financial stable futures.
There are many futures to buy, some a little more expensive than others, but in all, with a college degree, individuals have the chance and opportunity to achieve certain success. For Indian people however, just being in college is in itself an achievement of success. To graduate from college as an Indian, one can conclude that it is a feat very difficult to overcome. This is difficult, because of the certain obstacles Indian people face and what it takes to beat the odds to overcome those obstacles. Jon Reyhner explains barriers Indians are a lot of times faced with teachers generally do not encourage Native American students to go to college(97). Another obstacle many Indian people must face is for the simple fact that they have a hard time integrating into mainstream college life. First of all there are little or no privileges in writing, as in student handbooks, to practice native culture in dorm rooms, and /or around campus.
By this it proves to Indian students that their culture is not yet a consideration for Native academic comfort or success. This is mainly due to the lack of concern of American Indian awareness within society as a whole. Non-native students are not required to have any understanding of Indian history or culture, but if any, it is very little and usually learned from a non-native perspective. Therefore, without requirements of learning anything about Indian people, non-Indians, blindly, do not know how to include themselves with Native students or their issues whether they cared that Indian students were around or not. On the other hand, Indian college students must learn about the culture of the majority, and its functions in order to receive the benefits of a college degree. However in doing so, it is very difficult for Indian people to accept and carry out this process, because many Indian people are usually under-prepared for the realities, and expectations of college life.
This shows why Indian students seldom relate to others in college and why they feel alienated from the rest. When any individual of any kind feel left out and segregated from the majority, it is inevitable for them to leave their surroundings, as in the case of Indian people dropping out college. . American Indian Studies programs can be very beneficial to colleges and universities in ways to help non-Indian college students in becoming aware of the first nations people and their place in this country. However, I dont believe that American Indian Studies will keep American Indian people in college. Colleges and Universities dont need AIS to hold our native people together; we need to hold ourselves together by working on preparing our youth to be able to stay in college when they get there. The numbers of Indian people are very few in our own land, yet we still manage to survive.
This I truly believe is the cause of endurance and perseverance.