Book Co-Authored by OU Asst. Professor Addresses Lack of Research on Native Americans in Higher Education

By Page, David | THE JOURNAL RECORD, June 17, 2013 | Go to article overview

Book Co-Authored by OU Asst. Professor Addresses Lack of Research on Native Americans in Higher Education


Page, David, THE JOURNAL RECORD


In about 2007 Heather Shotton got involved with a group of representatives of higher education interested in issues involving American Indian students.

"A group of about 10 of us met at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign," said Shotton, who today is an assistant professor of Native American studies at the University of Oklahoma in Norman. "It was a group of professionals who work in student affairs, administration and faculty members who were interested in Native Americans in higher education. We are a pretty tight-knit group, so we have our own support network."

Part of their discussion included how American Indian students are often represented by only an asterisk in higher education research. Most of the research did not include statistics about American Indian students, only an asterisk because as a group they are too small of a percentage of the entire group, Shotton said.

The meeting in 2007 started continuing dialogue about the absence of American Indians in higher education research, she said. The continuing dialogue resulted in a book, "Beyond the Asterisk: Understanding Native Students in Higher Education," with Shotton as one of the authors and one of the three editors. The other editors are Stephanie Waterman, an assistant professor in the higher education program at the Warner School of Education, and Shelly C. Lowe, executive director of the Harvard University Native American Program.

The title, as expected, came from the dialogue that started in 2007.

"The title came about as a result of numerous conversations with Native faculty and higher education professionals around the invisibility and lack of knowledge about and understanding of Native students," said Shotton. …

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