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Running Head: MAJOR PROJECT 2 1

Major Project 2: Student Services Program Proposal

Heather Yazzie-Kinlacheeny

Northern Arizona University


Major Project 2: Student Services Program Proposal

The Nihi Daa Nd D Retention proposed programs primary purpose would be to provide

retention and graduation services to the students of a tribal college. The institution is currently located on

an American Indian reservation in the United States. The Student Affairs Department will be responsible

for the Nihi Daa Nd D Retention Program. The students targeted for this proposed program are

primarily undergraduate students from non-traditional backgrounds, who are at-risk of dropping out,

failing classes, or having an grade point average (GPA) drop below a 2.0. Although many programs have

been established for the tribal college students, many students still struggle to succeed and graduate

within the recommended semesters.

Nihi daa nd d means to make a full return or to fully come back. It is a term that is used

in a commemorative and meaningful way, usually between kinships and relationships. The foundation or

mission is built upon the tribes own philosophy of education. The philosophy is Nitshkees or thinking,

Nht or planning, n or living and Siihasin or Assuring. The reason for implementing the philosophy

of education is to begin the processes of which all education and knowledge are based.


In higher education, many factors affect a students ability to actualize any established or

intended goals of graduating and succeeding beyond the institutional walls. Some of the factors include

adjusting to the rigors of academia, lack or misunderstanding of commitments, unclear goals and career

development, improper acclimation to the campus, poor advisement, lack of resources and limited

mentorship (Dumas-Hines, Cochran & Williams, 2001, p. 433; Kurantowicz & Nizinska, 2013, p. 135;

Tafreschi & Thiemann, 2016, pp. 2-3). Undergraduates experience any number of these circumstances

individually or in combination. The goal of the Nihi Daa Nd D Retention Program is to reduce or

eliminate these factors for the students to achieve maximum success.

Institutions of higher learning are known as creators of knowledge and advocates for critical ideas

and thinking. Retention is becoming one of the major issues in higher education due to the relentless

increase in population. Additionally, educational systems should review the impact of social justices that

lie in programs like retention. Stuart (2013, p.13) argued that Latino and Blacks suffer most from

colleges that place the students in layer and layers of remedial classes. The Nihi Daa Nd D

Retention Program will research issues such as the pressures of remedial and developmental education

impacts on the students in the program.

Another issue is the diversification of institutions. Diversity is an admiral trait and trend in

higher education. However, different populations also will bring different needs, which are also

beneficial for the institution because of the perspectives it provides and challenges of the norm (Dumas-

Hines, Cochran & Williams, 2001, p. 438). The acceptance of diversity campus wide is extremely

important because of issues related to retention (Dumas-Hines, Cochran & Williams, 2001, p. 434).


The Nihi Daa Nd D Retention Program will consist of four major departments, which are

Goals & Career Development, Academic Advisement, Tutoring Services and Mentoring Program. Each

of the programs is intended to be an integral part of the students experience throughout each semester.

The retention program acknowledges the importance of the students beginning, end and beyond support

measures. Therefore, the retention program is not created intervene after a student is failing or has

already dropped out. Rather, the Nihi Daa Nd D Retention Program serves all students, but returning

students from probation or suspension will be required to participate in the program until the student

reaches satisfactory levels.

Goals and Career Development department will target at-risk students during the initial application of

the student, where they will begin a profile of the students general interest. During orientation, the

department will provide a Career Assessment and Pathways Planning Guide. These documents will

be used to assist the student establishing a purpose or direction in their educational endeavors.
The Academic Advisement Department will be a team of degree plan experts, who introduce students

to the policies and procedures of the institution regarding degree changes, transcript records,

plagiarism, probationary issues and information on graduation. Each semester the team will ensure

that the student knows and works effectively with the Academic Department Chair and Advisor of

their respective programs.

The Learning Center is the active learning community center where students can receive both

professional and peer tutoring assistance, reading comprehension, writing support and campus

resource aids. They will ensure the usage of all services on campus, such as the deans, library,

athletics and student life.

The Mentoring Program will serve as the exiting support service for students in the retention

program, who have met the academic standards of the institution. Both peer and professional mentors

will be available to the students until graduation, if they need any outside of the retention program.

The outcome of the Nihi Daa Nd D Retention Program is to develop and expand the support

of student services to a population of students underserved. The retention program would like to also

increase access and utilization of all student support programs on campus through the example of student

success. The program would like to decrease the number of students at risk of dropping out or failing.

Similarly, the retention program intends on increasing the number of students graduating successfully and

in the recommended years of study. Lastly, the program plans on blending the interdepartmental

relationships between academia and student affairs for the full rounded benefit of all students.

The budget would include six staff members: one program director, one administrative assistant,

and four coordinators for each program. The program would also include funding to hire students for

additional departmental support. The intent of the student interns would be to ensure a peer-to-peer

support from students, who have done well academically. Professional development, training and other

essential meetings will provide the staff with updated research material and resources for the program not

to become obsolete or outdated. The computer hardware and software purchases will be for the

technological support of the programs to interface with the campus student management system, data

management systems, creation of references and a continuous connection to all forms of social media.

The expendable and office supplies is for the staff to maintain the facilities, where needed. Lastly, the

Nihi Daa Nd D Retention Program will need strong advertisement and promotional material.

Likewise, incentives and awards will be encouraged for students who have marked success during their

journey in returning.

Table 1.1 Proposed Budget for the Nihi Daa Nd D Retention Program
Object Items Request
Full Time Employees (6 Staff Per Year) $180,000
Student Employees (4 Students Per Semester) $20,000
Professional Development, Training & Meetings $5,000
Computer Hardware & Software $6,000
Expendable & Office Supplies $4,000
Advertisement, Promotion, Incentive & Awards $5,000
TOTAL $220,000
The Nihi Daa Nd D Retention Program will solicit funding from state and federal agencies

willing to support the mission and purpose of the program. The U.S. Department of Education has a

specific grant that supports the retention and graduation of students under the retention program. The first

is the Federal TRIO Programs, which is intended for Federal outreach and student services programs

designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds (Office of

Postsecondary Education [OPE], 2016). Additionally, the National Science Foundation continuously

provides funding for Tribal Colleges and University Programs to effectively increase the number of

American Indians, Alaskan Natives and Hawiiaans in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

fields of study and profession (National Science Foundation [NSF], 2016).

The Nihi Daa Nd D Retention Program is a required program for students needed additional

help to maintain academic promise. The faculty will be trained on how to identify students at-risk for

failing a course. Thereafter, the faculty are invited to submit an Early Alert Referral Form on behalf of

the student. The Nihi Daa Nd D Retention staff will receive the referral and contact the student to

being the process of retention and intervention. In each department, the student will be evaluated using

the Five Steps for Effectively Evaluating Student Success Interventions by Dr. Rigoberto J. Rincones-

Gmez (Rincones-Gmez, 2009, p. 2).

The retention program will be using this process for its simplicity and ability to provide

information to the student that is tailor to their level of learning. The five steps include (a) Describing the

intervention or challenge, (b) Identifying the issues and questioning the circumstances, (c) Completing an

evaluation plan for retention, (d) Monitoring the plan with the support of the retention team, and (e)

Learn, share and actively participate in the benefits of the retention program (Rincones-Gmez, 2009, p.

2). The evaluation will also provide them with a learning outcome that is measureable and achievable.

The students will demonstrate their ability to time manage, write at the expectation of the instructors and

use the institutions resources effectively. The student will feel properly acclimated and engaged with the

program and entire institutional body.


The Nihi Daa Nd D Retention Program will submit quarterly and annual reports to the Dean

of Student Services for review. Thereafter, a Retention Committee will analyze the reports. The

Committee will be comprised of faculty, staff and administration. The Retention Committee will

thoroughly review the overall effectiveness of the program by comparing the number of students referred

by the Early Alert Program, how many students entered into the retention program, how many

successfully exited the program. Each student will have a profile that shows their progression from their

first semester as a student. In addition, the students will evaluate the staff members under the Nihi Daa

Nd D Retention Program at each reporting period.

The Nihi Daa Nd D Retention Program operates in a circular pattern, as does the tribal

philosophy of education. The future holds many challenges regarding continuation of funding,

institutional acceptance of retention methods and overall effectiveness for the changes in society.

However, the trends in higher education are a must and may at times seem insurmountable.

Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, New York tested the aptitude of change by offering a

different structure of attending class and found the merit in thinking beyond the normal circumstances

(Bonet & Walters, 2016, p. 224). Student services will need to address how to keep student central in

issues and resolutions. In conclusion, the Nihi Daa Nd D Retention Program will be created to help

students become independent and confident learner and thinkers.



Bonet, G., & Walters, B. R. (2016). High Impact Practices: Student Engagement and Retention. College

Student Journal, 50(2), 224-235.

Dumas-Hines, F. A., Cochran, L. L., & Williams, E. U. (2001). Promoting Diversity: Recommendations

for Recruitment and Retention of Minorities in Higher Education. College Student Journal, 35(3),


Kurantowicz, E., & Nizinska, A. (2013). How students 'stay the course': Retention practices in higher

education. Studies In The Education Of Adults, 45(2), 135-147.

National Science Foundation. (2016). Tribal Colleges and Universities Program (TCUP). Retrieved from

Office of Postsecondary Education. (2016). Federal TRIO Programs. Retrieved from

Rincones-Gmez, R. J. (2009). Evaluating Student Success Interventions: Principles and Practices of

Student Success. Achieving the Dream: Community Colleges Count. Lumina Foundation for

Education, 1-10. Retrieved from

Stuart, R. (2013). Fostering Futures. Diverse: Issues In Higher Education, 30(10), 12-13.

Tafreschi, D., & Thiemann, P. (2016). Doing it twice, getting it right? The effects of grade retention and

course repetition in higher education. Economics Of Education Review, 55198-219.