Presentation Details

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Eleventh International Literacy and Education Research Network Conference on Learning

Modeling and Embracing Successful Diversity Strategies in Higher Education: Recruiting and Retaining Indigenous and Other Underrepresented Students

David Brandstein.

Faced with historical patterns of racism and ethnocentrism, as well as contemporary societal and governmental barriers towards minority representation, institutions of higher education in the U.S. and elsewhere are struggling to develop strategies to recruit and retain minority students, including American Indians, Indigenous Peoples, one of the most underrepresented and neglected populations in mainstream education

Drawing on extensive research and applied experience, David Brandstein, College of Arts and Science faulty member (cultural studies) and administrator (McNair Scholars Program) at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, a small institution in northern Arizona, discusses varied strategies to develop and then implement a plan to recruit and retain American Indian and other underrepresented minority students.

Beginning with a discussion of the benefits of a diverse campus and a review of the problems that have led to underrepresentation and a relatively low success and retention rate, this interactive workshop explores such strategies as they relate to effective outreach/ promotion and advisement/counseling. The workshop also demonstrates ways to build a supportive academic and social environment, develop appropriate courses, recruit and train “culturally sensitive” faculty and staff, establish collaborations with community leaders, tribal officials and parents, and seek financial aid.

In addition, some attention will be paid to the impact of federal legislation on these efforts, with special reference to the recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions on the University of Michigan’s admission policies.

This session should particularly benefit national and international educators who are interested in diversity issues with specific reference to more effective recruitment and retention of indigenous and other minority students.


David Brandstein  (United States)
Faculty and Administrator
College of Arts and Sciences
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

David Brandstein has taught English, anthropology and American Indian and other cultural studies courses for more than 30 years at Yale University, Bard and Brooklyn Colleges, the University of Arizona, New School University and presently at Northern Arizona University and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) where he also coordinates the McNair Scholars Program, a federally-funded initiative to prepare underrepresented and underserved students for graduate studies. He has been a leader on diversity and multi-cultural issues and programs at various universities, corporations and other organizations. As a management consultant and trainer, he specializes in diversity topics. He has done extensive research on diversity issues and presented at many different local and national conferences, including National Indian Education Association, RETAIN Native Americans, and American Indians in Science and Engineering.

  • Diversity in Higher Education
  • Recruiting and Retaining Indigenous Students

(60 min. Workshop, English)