Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling Psychology & Community Services


The purpose of this study was to better understand successful vocational experiences among Northern Plains Native American males. Most studies completed up to this point have approached the issue of Native American career exploration from a problem-based perspective. This study used a Consensual Qualitative Research (CQR) methodology to examine the experiences of Native Americans who have been nominated by their tribal community as career successful members of their community.

Eight male members of two North Dakota Native American tribes were interviewed using semi-structured qualitative interview protocol. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed for domains and categories. Eight domains emerged from the data analysis: (a) obstacles, (b) definition of success (in general), (c) definition of success (in high school), (d) definition of success (in relation to job), (e) definition of failure, (f) self-perception, (g) positive influential factors to career success, and (h) message to students. The most salient variables related to career success included family emphasis on education and multidimensional social support. Other variables that influenced the career success of this sample included high motivation to succeed and determination to overcome obstacles.