Focus: Teachers and parents
Summary: There are many Indigenous perspectives in Canada and a diverse Indigenous student body enrolled every year in a range of post-secondary programs. Indspire asked a sample of recent recipients of its Building Brighter Futures’ financial awards what led to their educational choices. What resulted was a better understanding of trends and lessons Indigenous learners can teach policy makers and program service delivery agents about what is important to them.
Understanding the motivations and decisions that successful First Nation, Inuit, and Métis students make, contributes to building and supporting Indigenous student success. Do Indigenous students make the same choices about attending post-secondary institutions as other cohorts of students? What drives the choices Indigenous students make, what brought them to their college or university of choice, what keeps them there, and what is contributing to their graduation? Are there things that can be done differently to improve the recruitment, retention, and graduation rate of Indigenous learners?
Key findings from the survey were as follows:
- The majority of the Indigenous post-secondary students sampled were studying at university, enrolled in a four year program.
- The majority of students in the sample were studying in Ontario, Alberta, BC, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
The top six factors that influenced respondents when choosing their school were:
- program of study;
- school reputation;
- financial aid (bursaries/ scholarships);
- Indigenous centre services; and
- location was in close proximity to home.
The six least important factors reported by respondents were:
- athletics (varsity recruitment);
- friends/peers attending same institution;
- Maclean’s magazine ranking;
- secondary school guidance counsellors;
- location was away from home; and
- parental influence.
The four services most used by these students were:
- academic advising;
- Indigenous services;
- financial aid; and
- faculty/division support.