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This paper reports the findings of a qualitative research investigation on the educational experiences of 69 American Indian college students. Specifically, the data involving two groups of culturally traditional students (estranged students and transcultural students) are considered. Estranged students are culturally traditional American Indian students who experienced intense alienation while in college and, subsequently, fared poorly academically. Conversely, transculturated students are also culturally traditional students. However, these students overcame acute alienation and generally experienced successful college careers. After an examination of the dominant theoretical perspectives on American Indian educational achievement and attrition, the findings of the research are extended to new theoretical considerations: resistance theory and the transculturation hypothesis.


Originally published by the Journal of American Indian Education, 2001, 40(3), 1-23.

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