Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 4-25-2021


The purpose of this study is centered around a need’s assessment and creation of a collaborative entity in New Mexico that will support Native students in higher education institutions. There is always a need to support Indigenous students pursuing post-secondary degrees in higher education programs, because often professionals and programs function in silos. Instead, professionals and programs that support Native students would benefit from working to create supportive environments where Native students can succeed; provide encouragement; and make their environments safe and welcoming. This can best be accomplished through collaborative efforts across New Mexico. A state level higher education collaborative would provide space to share issues and challenges Native students face, share best practices, and to create possible solutions to support Indigenous students in challenges they face. A collaborative would further provide space to network, build relationships, share ideas, establish a vision and goals, and provide mutual benefits for all constituents. Through a qualitative study that includes sharing circles and individual interviews; insights were gathered to assess needs in New Mexico, look at challenges and successes of other state-wide existing collaboratives, and present the outcomes and benefits of creating a collaborative. Through the voices of Native American professionals who work in various capacities and institutions focused on supporting Native students in post-secondary institutions, findings will demonstrate the need and ideas for the creation of a state-wide collaborative. Through this study, I also looked at similar initiatives that occurred in Arizona (ATUIE) and South Dakota to enhance this research through benchmarking to gain insight into their respective collaboratives.


Higher education, collaborative, coalition, Native college student, Native student success, college student success

Document Type




Degree Name

Educational Leadership

Level of Degree


Department Name

Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy

First Committee Member (Chair)

Alicia F. Chávez

Second Committee Member

Robin "Zape-tah-hol-ah" Starr Minthorn

Third Committee Member

Shawn L. Secatero

Fourth Committee Member

Tiffany S. Lee