Date of Award:

5-2018

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Education

Advisor/Chair:

Cindy D. Jones

Co-Advisor/Chair:

Virgil Caldwell

Third Advisor:

Melissa Tehee

Abstract

Diné (Navajo) students drop out of high school and postsecondary education at higher than average rates. The purpose of this study was to investigate how Diné students currently enrolled in college describe the factors that supported their pursuit of higher education. Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory was used as a framework and to identify and analyze factors that influence access, enrollment, and participation in higher education. The Diné participants in this study were six students enrolled in postsecondary education at the time of this research, recruited from two university campuses in the Southwestern U.S. Each student participated in a semistructured interview and completed a demographic questionnaire.

Open-coding was used to analyze the interviews, and it was observed that factors relating to each of Bronfenbrenner’s five levels of ecological systems theory had an impact on the participants’ access, enrollment, and persistence in postsecondary education. A number of themes emerged that will be useful to stakeholders who work with this population of students. Recommendations are provided that are intended to help these stakeholders retain Diné students at higher rates.

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cc47675ad1d8b82f0206051683326013

Available for download on Monday, May 01, 2023

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