Mentored research in a tribal college setting: The Northern Cheyenne case

The Journal of Research in Rural Education is pleased to announce the publication of:

Ward, C., Jones, K. W., Madsen, B., Coles, R., Rich, L., & Knapp, S. (2014). Mentored research in a tribal college setting: The Northern Cheyenne case. Journal of Research in Rural Education, 29(3), 1-17.

The current study, which focuses on mentored research experiences of freshmen and sophomores at the tribal college of the Northern Cheyenne Nation, responds to the call by Ovink and Veazey (2011) for additional study of effective strategies for providing both mentoring and research experiences for minority undergraduates. We use qualitative data—interviews and observations—to explore the meanings rural tribal college students give to their mentored research experiences and the impact on their academic plans. Findings show that effective mentors develop trust and support for student learning and their personal goals. The data also suggest that successful mentoring strategies facilitate learning by doing and relating to the student’s worldview and context. Additionally, non-native instructors who engage in authentic, caring interactions with students can successfully mentor native students in a supportive tribal college context. Tribal college students indicate that, similar to many American Indian university students, they want to return to their reservation communities following completion of college. However, tribal college students bring these interests into their academic plans as freshmen and sophomores. We conclude that appropriate mentoring relationships and relevant research experiences empower tribal college students to pursue their academic goals both in and outside their community as well as prepare to return.

The article can be seen here.

The Journal of Research in Rural Education publishes research that is of demonstrable relevance to educational issues within rural settings. JRRE welcomes single-study investigations, historical and philosophical analyses, research syntheses, theoretical pieces, and policy analyses from multiple disciplinary perspectives.  We welcome manuscripts concerning learning and instruction; preservice and inservice teacher education; educational leadership; educational policy; rural education and community development, and the cultural, historical, and economic context of rural education.  Brief commentary on recently published JRRE articles is also appropriate.


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