A Phenomenological Investigation into Cultural Factors Which May or May Not Contribute to Degree Completion Among American Indian Students in One Community College


  • Michael Wright Tarleton State University Stephenville, Texas
  • Twyla Miranda Texas Wesleyan University
  • Celia Wilson Texas Wesleyan University
  • Lisa Dryden Texas Wesleyan University




American Indian, community college, culture


This study investigated cultural factors’ contribution to degree completion among American Indian college students. Surveys were sent to 238 currently enrolled and 87 formerly enrolled American Indian students during March 2013. From the survey respondents, a group of ten, all currently enrolled American Indian students, agreed to one-on-one interview sessions with the researcher. Dialoguing sessions were recorded and transcribed; answers were analysed and subjected to close examination through metasynthesis leading to the discovery of themes. Verification of dialogue and transcriptions through triangulation was obtained.

The results indicated there were no reported cultural factors that contributed to the retention or attrition of the American Indian college student. For administrators, faculty and staff, the findings affirm practices used to welcome students of various cultures may be effective in preventing attrition of the American Indian student and that cultural factors may not play a role in retention or attrition.

Author Biographies

Michael Wright, Tarleton State University Stephenville, Texas

Dr. Michael Wright is the Director of Field Experiences at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas. His research interests include American Indian cultural phenomena, teacher effectiveness in multicultural settings, fair assessment practices and critical thinking. Dr. Wright has presented his work locally and nationally.

You may reach Dr. Wright at mjwright@tarleton.edu


Twyla Miranda, Texas Wesleyan University

Dr. Twyla Miranda is Director of the Ed.D. program at Texas Wesleyan University. Her research interests include teacher formation, literacy development and cultural understandings.

You may reach Dr. Miranda at tmiranda@txwes.edu or visit her website: www.twylatmiranda.com

Celia Wilson, Texas Wesleyan University

Dr. Celia Wilson is Associate Professor of Education at Texas Wesleyan University. Her research interests include issues of measurement in education, as well as best practices in educational research instruction. Recent publications include investigations of construct validity in reading assessments and best practices in publications utilising exploratory factor analysis.

You may reach Dr. Wilson at cewilson@txwes.edu

Lisa Dryden, Texas Wesleyan University

Dr. Lisa Dryden is the Director of the Master’s of Education Program at Texas Wesleyan University. Her research interests include teacher efficacy, writing instruction, literature use in curriculums and literacy development of young children. Dr. Dryden has presented her work locally, nationally and internationally. You may reach Dr. Dryden at ldryden@txwes.edu


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