President Barack Obama has signed an executive order that requires state education authorities to assist tribal colleges in closing achievement gaps between Native American and other students, reports Inside Higher Ed.
In a statement published on the White House's website, the president outlines plans for addressing the growing academic achievement gaps in Native American academic institutions. The president pledged to offer additional federal support to these colleges to ensure that Native American students have access to the resources and assistance they need to succeed. Such measures could also encourage more Native Americans to fill out college applications.
"Recent studies show that [Native American and Alaskan Native] students are dropping out of school at an alarming rate, that our nation has made little or no progress in closing the achievement gap between [these] students and their [non-Native American and Alaskan Native] student counterparts," reads the order.
According to research conducted by the Southwest Comprehensive Center, some of the reasons for the growing achievement gap in Native American higher education include high staff turnaround in colleges, students' socioeconomic status, and a lack of faculty training in delivering culturally relevant curricula.
The Hattiesburg American reports that a major part of the order will focus on increased cooperation and communication between tribal leaders, Native American colleges and state education authorities.
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