Women, American Indian, Alaska Native, Doctoral Degree, Education, Minority, Mentorship


The American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) population is challenged with diverse learning styles, high-risk behaviors, low economic status, low enrollment predictions, lower total education achievement, or lower graduate level higher education. However, AI/AN doctoral degree recipients may be successful due to diverse sources of support. Data from 1992 to 2002 SED was analyzed using Chi square tests to observe the trends of the total number of AI/AN women receiving doctoral degree compared to trends to African-American/Black, Hispanic, Asian, White, Other / Unknown women doctoral degree recipients. A two-way contingency table analysis was conducted to compare the difference in the total number of AI/AN female doctoral degree students with female doctoral degree recipients in other races. The Asian, White, and Other/Unknown were found to be significant in total number of doctoral degree recipients when compared to AI/AN population from 1992 to 2002, year to year. In a follow-up pair wise comparison conducted to evaluate these differences between consecutive years for the groups only the Other/Unknown category was significant. In addition, each race experienced a decline in the total female doctoral degree recipients during 1999 to 2002. However, the AI/AN female doctoral degree recipient group experienced the most drastic decreases, - 26.9 percent from 1999 to 2000. More AI/AN women are enrolled in colleges however they may be inadequately prepared to progress to doctoral programs due to poor availability of sources of support. Therefore, a survey questionnaire was designed to provide descriptive information on sources of social, emotional, academic, and professional support that was available for AI/AN women doctoral degree recipients. On the survey sources of social, emotional, academic, and professional support during graduate school were asked to be selected from: Committee Chair, Committee Member, Graduate Faculty, Graduate Colleagues, Other Faculty, Spouse/partner, Family, Employer, Friend, Tribal Group, Elder, Mentor, or Other. All sources of support that applied were selected, as well as, top three main sources. Forty-six surveys were completed, and the most frequent source (91 percent) and most common primary source (41 percent) of support selected for survey respondents was their Committee Chair. The survey data analysis offers observations of frequencies of this scarcely studied population.

Graduation Date





Boote, David


Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


College of Education


Educational Studies

Degree Program

Curriculum and Instruction








Release Date


Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)