FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sept. 9, 2019
TSAILE, Ariz. — Diné College officials are lauding a study just released by the American Indian College Fund (AICF) that says Native Americans who graduate from a tribal college or university (TCU) are better prepared for life after graduation.
The year-long study was conducted by the Gallup poll, and several tribal colleges across the country, including Diné College, were part of the study. The 27-page study is entitled, “Alumni of Tribal Colleges and Universities Better their Communities.”
The study demonstrates that graduates of U.S. tribal colleges and universities enjoy several positive benefits from a unique college experience. Alumni from TCUs are more likely to feel they were better prepared for life after college, to enjoy high levels of personal well-being and to be more emotionally attached to their alma mater.
“This study reinforces what we already know. Diné College students earn their degree not just for themselves but for their community and the Navajo Nation,” Diné College President Dr. Charles Monty Roessel said. “Because of this, the college experience is relevant to their career and their future.”
“This report also highlights the tremendous faculty we have at Diné College and their ability to connect with our students, inspire our students and teach our students,” Roessel said. “The fact that Diné College alumni recognize that our faculty care about them as individuals, and not just students, is a testament to the quality of our faculty.”
Diné College Provost Dr. Geraldine Garrity also praised the report, “As an alumni of Diné College, I experienced first-hand the value and important role of a tribal college,” she said.
Cheryl Crazy Bull, president and CEO of the AICF, commented on the Gallup study: “All of us who have worked with tribal colleges and universities since their founding in 1968 recognized that these place-based, culturally-rooted institutions transformed lives and communities.”
Diné College was founded in 1968 — the first tribally-controlled institution in the U.S. The Higher Learning Commission approved the college’s four-year institutional status in April 2019 and the College now offers several Bachelors degrees.
TCUs were created to provide Native Americans with the skills and education to achieve success and financial security in an academic environment absent of discrimination and designed to uplift.
Among the data provided, the study revealed that TCU graduates report that their institutions prepared them well for life outside of college.
The study addresses the primary reasons that students may attend a TCU as they consider which type of higher education experience may provide a supportive, culturally affirming environment and a pathway to a good job. TCUs emerged because many U.S. colleges and universities didn’t graduate a high number of Native Americans.
Gallup, Inc., is a Washington, D.C.-based analytics company. The company is known for its public opinion polls conducted worldwide.