Bismarck, North Dakota – The Institute of Education Sciences released a guide in September that is based on the Native American student needs assessment and action plan developed by North Dakota education stakeholders and leaders. The guide, written in part by Lucy Fredericks, North Dakota Department of Public Instruction’s director of Indian/multicultural education, will provide other states across the nation with a step-by-step process that incorporates Native stakeholder involvement in the development of questions and resources.
“Through this new guide, I’m hopeful that the great work of North Dakota Native stakeholders and other leaders will help ensure that the needs of all students, including Native Americans, are met across the country,” Fredericks said.
The Guide to Conducting a Needs Assessment for American Indian Students, developed in conjunction with the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Central, was designed to help state and local education agencies conduct needs assessments to better understand the strengths and challenges unique to schools serving American Indian students. It includes surveys developed collaboratively with communities that serve American Indian students to reflect the most relevant topics. Using results from these surveys, the guide provides examples of how to reduce gaps in outcomes between American Indian students and other students. It also provides methodology to ensure survey, analysis, and action plan results are in line with the culture and goals of the communities for which they are developed.
“REL Central is honored to have had the opportunity to work so closely with ND DPI and stakeholders to develop this culturally responsive guide for states looking to better support their Native American students,” said Kerry Englert, REL Central researcher and co-author of the report.
North Dakota’s Native student needs assessment and plan is credited in helping to increase Native student graduation rates and improve student outcomes.