Tribal College Contributions to Local Economic Development.Report as inadecuate

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This report describes some economic development efforts of the 32 tribal colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. Although the data needed for a comprehensive analysis of the economic impact of tribal colleges are not available, the report argues that the colleges affect local community development on many levels. Specific data from national sources, as well as examples from the tribal colleges and the reservations on which they are located, are used to illustrate these effects. In the first section, background is provided on the economic circumstances of American Indian reservations and the potential for postsecondary institutions to help. The second section looks at the impacts of tribal colleges in particular, including both direct economic effects such as expenditures, and long-term effects such as the development of increased skill levels and employment in the local workforce, encouragement of small business and entrepreneurship, and improvement of land use and agricultural activities. Because the colleges are at different stages of growth and exist in distinct economic landscapes, the range of their contributions to local development vary widely. Nevertheless, the tribal colleges are vital components of the process of building a foundation for future growth on Indian reservations and are strongly contributing to the economies of this nation's most disadvantaged areas. (Contains 94 references.) (TD)

Descriptors: Adult Education, American Indian Education, American Indian Reservations, College Role, Colleges, Culturally Relevant Education, Economic Development, Economic Impact, Entrepreneurship, Geographic Isolation, Higher Education, Labor Force Development, Rural Development, Rural Education, Tribally Controlled Education, Vocational Education

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Author: Cunningham, Alisa Federico


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