Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Education-Higher Education (M.Ed.)

Degree Program

College of Education

First Advisor

Karyn Rabourn

Academic Year



American Indians/Alaskan Natives (AI/AN) pursue higher education disproportionately compared to other populations. Literature indicates that a sense of belonging significantly impacts AI/AN students' persistence rates at community colleges. Sense of belonging and support from community colleges and families directly influence student success in higher education. AI/AN students are grounded in their community and have desires to build their cultural capital. Obtaining a degree will strengthen their community and, ultimately, their nation. It is essential for AI/AN students and parents to feel equipped with resources and ways community colleges support marginalized students. Creating a student and parent orientation, access to a family education specialist, and attending AI/AN social programming contribute to student empowerment and persistence. The program will provide resources for students' academic, cultural, and spiritual well-being.