Interpretive study of Native women in post-secondary education
Bruyere, Marlis Glenda-Anne
Master of Education
SubjectWomen Education (Higher)
Native women Education (Higher) Canada
Native women Education (Higher)
MetadataShow full item record
The purpose of this interpretive study was to explore Native women’s experiences in post-secondary education, in order to assist in developing a greater understanding of the needs of Native women who were students in post-secondary community college programs. Data was collected using semi-structured interview. The thematic analysis method was a continuous emergent activity that looked for sentences or phrases that reflected the participants’ view of their college experience. Participant profiles created from the students’ own words, generated in the interview transcripts, framed the data analysis. As the participants talked about their college experiences, threads of commonality emerged from the transcripts. From these common themes, there was an attempt to find similarities and differences in the lived experiences and views of the participants. From the collapsing of the preliminary themes, five emergent themes became apparent. They were drive or determination, support, being Native, culture shock, and personal experiences. Several shared experiences enabled each of the participants to be successful. Drive or determination, support from family, peers, and administration, and positive feelings of self-worth were factors in making their college experience a successful experience. Several experiences acted as barriers to success and enjoyment of the college experience. They were poor self-worth, racism, cultural shock, and personal problems. Implications include the need for further research to examine drive or determination and it’s impact on students’ success, to ascertain how additional administrative support will increase success, to examine the question o f racism and to determine how this can be positively overcome in our post-secondary institutions, and the need for good personalized orientation and Native support services.