Some California colleges are seeing a decline in American Indian enrollment, and those students continue to lag behind their peers in academic achievement, according to a recent report.
The report from the California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center at California State University, San Marcos, examines high school graduation rates, college-enrollment rates, academic achievement, and other data on the state’s Native American students.
It found that from 2011 to 2012, the enrollment rates for Native American students at the state’s community colleges and universities dropped, while the University of California system saw a 67 percent increase in enrollment of Native Americans. Educators and officials from several state colleges told the report’s authors that declining financial support may be among the contributors to the overall declines in American Indian enrollment numbers.
The authors also concluded that college readiness and student retention may be contributing factors. In 2012, only 41 percent of Native American 11th graders in California scored at “proficient” or “advanced” levels on the state English exam, compared with nearly 70 percent of Asian students and 63 percent of white students.
Statewide, American Indian students, who make up less than 1 percent of California’s student population, also graduate from high school at lower rates than their non-Native peers.
A version of this article appeared in the October 15, 2014 edition of Education Week as Native American Students