Overcoming Social Exclusion: Stories from High-achieving American Indian College Students

Open Access
Charley, Eryka Lynn
Graduate Program:
Educational Leadership
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
October 22, 2015
Committee Members:
  • Kai Arthur Schafft, Dissertation Advisor
  • Erica Frankenberg, Committee Member
  • Dana Lynn Mitra, Committee Member
  • Esther Susana Prins, Committee Member
  • Bryan Brayboy, Special Member
  • Social Exclusion
  • American Indian Education
  • High-Achieving
The purpose of this qualitative study is to understand the educational experiences of a group of high-achieving American Indian students within the context of the social, political, and economic lifeworld in which they live. Despite strong community value of the importance of obtaining an education, American Indian students struggle to succeed academically, and have the lowest high school graduation rates in the United States (Brayboy, Fann, Castagno, & Solyom, 2012). It is important to understand how students from culturally, socially, and economically deprived communities are able to navigate systems of exclusion in order to improve access and opportunity within the education system. This study aims to discover how these populations of high-achieving students are able to navigate and overcome barriers of social exclusion that obstruct a large majority of American Indian students.