In 1995-96, more than 25,000 students were enrolled at 32 Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), unique institutions that incorporate culturally relevant curricula in their postsecondary programs. However, little is known about these institutions which serve geographically isolated reservation populations. This report present an overview of various aspects of TCUs—who enrolls, how the colleges are funded, what makes them unique, and the challenges they face. Overall, TCUs enroll a student population that is largely non-traditional, with high proportions of female and part-time students. Growth in enrollment has outpaced increases in federal funding, leaving the institutions underfunded and in search of additional resources. The colleges are actively involved in their communities, offering a broad range of services including small business development, childcare, and high school equivalency programs. This report is the first in a series of policy reports produced by the Tribal College Research and Database Initiative, a joint project of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium and the American Indian College Fund.
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Tribal Colleges: An Introduction
Published: February 1999