Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership


The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of the perceptions transfer students from Tribal Colleges have upon entering The University of North Dakota regarding their own readiness for a four-year institution. This study sought to find out what could be done at the tribal colleges, at UND, and what the institutions could do collaboratively to improve the success of tribal college transfer students. Eleven students participated in the study. They were first semester transfers coming directly from tribal colleges who had transferred in at least 45 semester credits and with grade point averages of 3.0 or higher. The participant's experiences were recorded using the qualitative research method of in-depth interviewing. In addition, demographic data was collected on the students.

The themes that emerged from the study were: Theme one. The participants expressed concerns regarding their transfer to UND. Theme two. The participants identified personal motivation as a factor leading them toward the completion of their degrees. Theme three. The participants identified family as playing an important part in their educational experiences and decisions. Theme four. The participants described various financial concerns. Theme five. The participants reported that the faculty at tribal colleges have different teaching styles than the faculty at UND, thus, the students have had to adjust their own learning styles and study methods. Theme six. The participants thought the faculties at their respective tribal colleges were too lenient. Theme seven. The participants recommended that others attend tribal colleges before attending four-year institutions. Theme eight. The participants expressed the importance of the Indian Center and the Native American Programs staff and support services at UND. Another notable topic. The participants talked about racism at UND and the Grand Forks community.

Some of the recommendations derived from this study included: (1) That tribal colleges identify and better support the transfer function. (2) That tribal college faculty provide more rigorous instruction. (3) That tribal colleges and UND better collaborate on articulation programming. (4) That UND bolsters support services for American Indian students. (5) That UND provide a more adequate center for American Indian students to congregate.