Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Teaching & Learning


This paper presents a finance model for Indian community colleges which proposes that these colleges begin and operate agricultural operations which will generate revenue for the colleges. The paper proposes that the college working with the respective tribe use tribal agricultural resources to produce income which can then be used to meet tribal objectives in higher education. The model was reviewed by a panel with expertise in reservation and tribal community college development.

History of the Problem: This paper traces the status of tribal land and natural resources from early Federal/Indian relationships through the Dawes Allotment Act up to the present day status quo. The paper also presents various legal interpretations of Indian treaties, status, and reservations which have prevailed throughout history. The paper also describes the development of Indian community colleges as an Indian initiated effort to improve reservation life.

An Agriculture-Based Finance Model for Indian Community Colleges: The model is a two-phase description of the procedures that should be followed to begin and operate a tribal community college agricultural operation. Each phase presents sample tools which might be helpful in this process.

Review of the Model: The model was reviewed by four people who were chosen for their expertise and background in Indian higher education and tribal economic development. The reviewers provided valuable insights into problems which might be encountered while implementing the model. The reviewers also suggested additions which might be helpful to those implementing the model.

Conclusions: The review of the model provided two groups of conclusions. The conclusions which discuss features of the model are: 1. The model will work but certain conditions are necessary for proper implementation. Given a feasible situation, there must be good management of the operation. 2. Political approval and commitment to the project from the tribal council and local political groups are essential elements in the model. 3. The model, if successfully implemented, would stand as an educational role model for the tribe in development and management of tribal resources. 4. Before the model is implemented on a specific reservation, detailed background information needs to be gathered which identifies local social, economic, and political characteristics. 5. Continuity of leadership is an important factor in long range success of the model.

The conclusions which are suggestions for additions to the model are: 1. The scope of the model (agriculture) is too narrow and should include nearly any type of economic development. 2. The problems addressed by the model are not only economic but educational as well. The model, whether centered around agriculture or other enterprises, could easily be expanded to combine the management framework with an appropriate educational program. 3. If the focus of the model is aimed at agricultural or natural resource development, the model should incorporate a "Land Ethic" consistent with Indian philosophy. 4. In the planning portions of the model, it is advisable to use outside resources rather than to rely solely on existing governmental agencies. 5. Specific evaluation measures should be detailed for both pre-operational and operational stages of the model.