Native-Serving Institutions Alliance

Improving access and success for American Indian/Alaska Native students

The Native-Serving Institutions Alliance is committed to supporting American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) student educational attainment in higher education. Through the Native Serving Initiative, we seek to work in partnership with higher education institutions, tribal colleges, tribal education offices, higher education organizations, and state and federal policy makers to strengthen practices and policies that lead to successful postsecondary outcomes of AI/AN students. To achieve equitable educational attainment of AI/AN students in higher education, the unique cultures, political identities, and experiences of Native students must be recognized. This calls for a comprehensive approach at colleges and universities to develop external partnerships, outreach to student home communities, relationship building with tribal nations, and strengthening institutional practices in student support services and in the academic teaching and learning environment. Ultimately, this requires collaboration, network building, and resource sharing among the federally recognized Native American-Serving, Nontribal Institutions (NASNTIs). The Native-Serving Institutions Alliance fosters collaboration among NASNTIs through meetings, events, and webinars focused on sharing best practices and strategies for AI/AN student attainment. It also promotes resource sharing through annually released publications and data resources. Additionally, the Native-Serving Institutions Alliance works with 11 NASNTIs that are developing and implementing campus actions plans to foster increased use of high-impact educational practices and to develop promising practices that will support the educational success of AI/AN college students. Funding for this initiative has been provided by Lumina Foundation.

In April 2020, due to the impact of COVID-19, with support from Lumina Foundation, WICHE provided additional funds to the campus grantees to support AI/AN students challenged by technology and internet access to on-line course delivery. We recognize the impact of COVID-19 illuminates greater structural inequities in health care, food security, water, and economic resources for Native people. We also recognize that tribal nations are working hard to address these issues. Partnerships on many fronts, including higher education, can support tribal capacity building and self-determination.

About Native American-Serving, Nontribal Institutions

The Native-Serving Institutions Initiative engages colleges and universities serving American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) students in a new consortium through networking and engagement strategies to support campus efforts to increase AI/AN student attainment rates and to formulate collective strategies to drive supportive policy implementation at the state and federal levels. The current effort focuses on Native American-Serving, Nontribal Institutions (NASNTIs). NASNTIs are federally-designated public and private institutions that have an undergraduate student body of at least 10 percent American Indian/Alaska Natives. In 2018 there were 37 designated NASNTIs (displayed in the map below) located in 10 states, and collectively these institutions:

  • enrolled 12% of the nation’s AI/AN undergraduates
  • conferred 14% of associate degrees to AI/AN students in the nation
  • conferred 10% of bachelor’s degrees to AI/AN students in the nation

 

 

Meetings, Events, and Webinars

Effective Institutional Agreements Between Tribes and Colleges and Universities

05 Nov

Discussion of effective tribal partnerships and higher education institutions. View the complete webinar here.

Strengthening Institutional Practices to Support Native American and Alaska Native Student Attainment in Higher Education

08 Jul

An annual convening of institutional leaders and key educational stakeholders focused on sharing promising practices for Native student success, collaborate and share resources across Native American-Serving, Nontribal Institutions, and share developments from state, federal, and tribal policy. Click here to...

Building Bridges to Support Native Student Attainment

26 Jul

An annual convening of institutional leaders and key educational stakeholders focused on sharing promising practices for Native student success, collaborate and share resources across Native American-Serving, Nontribal Institutions, and share developments from state, federal, and tribal policy. Click here...

Resources

WICHE annually compiles publicly available data for key postsecondary indicators related to AI/AN student success at NASNTIs. These data include enrollments, completion outcomes, graduation rates, and cost of attendance. The annual Institutional Data Report is made available as both a PDF and an interactive Tableau dashboard. The next iteration of this resource is expected to be released in August 2020. Additionally, WICHE has compiled a resource list of articles, reports, and guides related to Native student success and span topics, including campus diversity efforts, student access and success, campus climate, and Native student success in K-12.

For more information, please contact:

Suzanne Benally

Director, Native Serving Institutions Initiative, Programs and Services


303.541.0213

sbenally@wiche.edu

Colleen Falkenstern

Research Analyst, Policy Analysis and Research


303.541.0313

cfalkenstern@wiche.edu

Emma Tilson

Administrative Coordinator, Communications & Programs and Services


303.541.0272

etilson@wiche.edu

Jere Mock

Vice President, Programs and Services


303.541.0222

jmock@wiche.edu

Angela Rochat

Data, Policy, and Evaluation Coordinator, Programs and Services


970.769.2669

angie.rochat@lmu.edu