Tribal colleges began around three decades ago to meet the needs of the American Indians and Alaska Natives as well as to serve the populations that are geographically isolated. These students usually are unable to access education that goes beyond the level of high school. These institutions are now regarded as an essential part of the educational opportunities for the American Indian students.
The Tribal Colleges have been described as unique organizations that combine cultural relevance with personalized attention. These techniques are used to encourage students to overcome obstacles that were once in place for a higher education. Collectively known as “Tribal colleges” these organizations actually differ when it comes to their characteristics, sizes and structures. However they do share a few fundamental commonalities that include the following:
•These colleges are still young when compared to the mainstream universities and colleges in America
•The majority consist of a smaller amount of students that are typically American Indian
•Many of the students come from remote areas that have very limited or no access to college institutions
•Many of these colleges were initially chartered by one or many tribes that maintain distance from their tribal governments
•All these organizations have an open admission policy in place
•Each of these institutions first started off as a 2 year program
Over and above these aspects, all the Tribal Colleges have received full accreditation from their regional accrediting-agencies. These colleges provide associate degrees along with just about every other degree or certificate program that can be completed in two years or less.
In various ways the Tribal Colleges are comparable to mainstream colleges. But, the one trait that sets them apart is associated with the dual mission. This involves exploring, reinforcing and rebuilding tribal cultures that are traditional by using curricula that has been uniquely designed along with the appropriate settings. The second part of this mission is associated with addressing the Western learning models that offer traditional courses so that the students are able to transfer to the 4 year institutions.
What Makes The Tribal colleges Unique?
Tribal Colleges have differences from the mainstream colleges in cultural identities that are mirrored in just about every part of the college life. Other factors involve that these colleges are part of various community efforts that include economic-development initiatives, counseling services as well as basic education. These specific efforts are solely focused on the communities that are usually completed isolated from these types of resources.
The Cultural Studies
Every part of the curricula in a Tribal College has been created from the American Indian perspective and each individual course reflects these efforts. These colleges provide courses that cover tribal languages along with various other traditional subjects.
In conclusion these colleges offer a variety of services to their communities and serve as a gathering point for the different tribal members. Due to the fact that a variety of the students will have various responsibilities to their families, the colleges provide day-care facilities for the students who have children.