Supporting Native Students on their College Bound Journey

Alarming statistics surround Native American youth and communities.  Currently, 1 in 3 Native American families live below the poverty level.  Only 74% of Native American students graduate high school on time, and nationally only 24% of those students’ matriculate.  The cycle of poverty among our Native American communities can begin to be addressed though access and opportunity of some type of a post-secondary education.

Valerie Arnault-Pelletier was quoted, “There’s the saying, ‘Education is the new buffalo,’ because historically the buffalo gave us food, clothing, and shelter…we need to look to education to give us those things.”  CollegeBound Journey is a new platform that links Native American students to colleges, programs of study, and opportunities to ultimately build, sustain, and impact Native communities.  It also provides a tool of equity for school counselors to begin the process of culturally responsive college counseling.

Popular college planning platforms used in most schools omit cultural considerations in their system features.  Our Native American students’ cultural needs are often overlooked and are often invisible in curriculum and educational products.  CollegeBound Journey emphasizes Native American culture as a central focus on the college journey.  College search includes criteria not found in any other college planning platform: Native American specific programs of study (over 70), Indigenous language course opportunities, Native American student center identification, Elder-in-Residence programs, Native American Living and Learning Community options, and cultural club/organizations availability. The scholarship search platform only lists opportunities based on Native American status.  These include tribe sponsored scholarships, private foundation scholarships, state-specific aid for Native American students, tuition waiver programs, and in-state tuition options for Native American students. The pre-college program search contains a database of both pre-college experiences and summer cultural enrichment programs to support in preparing Native youth toward college.

Here is a nice video that should be of interest as well: Culturally Responsive College Counseling with Native American Students: Become an Agent of Systemic Change (here is the video link).

Do you have any Native American students? If so, please share information about this platform with them.