Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Daniels College of Business

First Advisor

Melissa Archpru Akaka

Second Advisor

Ana B. Rosario

Third Advisor

Bryan M. Brayboy


Native Americans in higher education, Persistence, Practices, Transformational consumption journey


In an academic environment where many higher education institutions tout their diversity and inclusion statistics, there is a decline in the enrollment of Native American students and a decrease in Native American scholars. The President of the United States, in an October 2021 briefing and with the issuance of an executive order named The White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Native Americans and Strengthening Tribal Colleges and Universities, saw the immediate urgency to understand the systematic causes and implement evidence-based strategies that will improve and increase student enrollment and academic advancement. This research takes a qualitative approach and proactively seeks and interviews a sample of Native American college students to discuss their journey to higher education and their experiences as they continue to navigate through college. In alignment with the mission of Transformative Consumer Research, the goal is to empower, encourage, support, and disseminate research that will contribute to the well-being of Native Americans. This study takes a unique approach to researching this topic and focusing on Native American students that succeeded in their journey to higher education. The research is viewed through the lens of a transformational consumption journey, and the perceived hindrances identified in prior literature, financial resources, academic preparedness, lack of role models, and cultural incongruities are validated, and additional hurdles, including sense of belonging, lack of voice, and lack of parental/family/community support, are uncovered. Practice theory is relied upon to identify the practices these students put into place to overcome these challenges. The findings contribute to existing research by validating and extending previous findings, in addition to offering a novel insight into practices used to overcome the identified hurdles that ultimately drive the transformative consumption journey. The research assists in identifying elements needed to transform and encourage the reproduction of practice while also contributing to the field of Transformative Consumer Research (TCR) in working to solve complex social problems by striving to improve the lives and myriad conditions of the Native American consumer of higher education.

Copyright Date


Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

All Rights Reserved
All Rights Reserved.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Gwen Locklear Almodovar


Received from ProQuest

File Format



English (eng)


140 pgs

File Size

1.7 MB


Higher education, Marketing, Public policy

Available for download on Friday, September 12, 2025