Publication Date

Spring 2017

Document Type

Project Summary

Degree Name

Doctor of Education



First Advisor

Andrae Marak, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Jose Perez, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Kerri Morris, Ph.D.


The primary focus of this capstone research is to identify the process of indigenous student retention policy in Arctic higher education institutions and compare these practices to existing retention and social theory. Much of the dominant literature on student retention addresses Euro-centric models, not fully addressing persistence issues with subjugated groups. There is a gap in the research with regard to indigenous Arctic student retention. By conducting a case study, data was gathered via the utilization of a variety of tools including archival records, interviews, direct observations, and document reviews. By adding to the body of work regarding student retention, institutions of higher learning may have greater opportunity to apply strategies to aid in their student persistence plan, particularly for subordinate groups. Most notably, the recognition that the culture from which a student derives may not be well aligned with the expectations of the culture of the institution. Many indigenous groups value group dependence and cohesion, often in direct opposition to frequently espoused higher education goals of economic and social success. A different retention strategy is needed to address the goals of indigenous students, framed around their cultural ideals and community attachments.