The impact of cultural capital on graduation rates: An ethnographic study of Native American students in southeastern North Carolina

Lewis Whitney Cox, Fayetteville State University

Abstract

According to Bourdieu (1986), cultural capital is essential for academic success and any population that lacks the necessary skills and knowledge to become successful will experience an academic disadvantage. In this study, cultural capital factors that contribute to the high school graduation of Native Americans in southeastern North Carolina were explored. Using data collected through 20 interviews, observations and field notes, the following themes emerged: (1) teacher support within the school, (2) Native American student engagement in student clubs or organizations, (3) Native American students' parents or guardian's expectations of them at home, (4) parental or guardian involvement in Native American students' lives, and (5) engagement with role models who shared similar beliefs. To decrease the dropout rate of Native American students across North Carolina, policy makers, teachers, parents, and stakeholders concerned with the academic success of Native American students can use the data collected for the current study to help improve the high school graduation rates of these students. To expand the scope of this study, it is recommended to determine which factor (school, home, or community) contributed most to Native American students' high school graduation and to determine if a significant difference existed in the responses between Native Americans and other ethnicities. Results from this study could help educators and policy makers address the high school graduation crisis among Native American students in North Carolina.^

Subject Area

Education

Recommended Citation

Cox, Lewis Whitney, "The impact of cultural capital on graduation rates: An ethnographic study of Native American students in southeastern North Carolina" (2016). ETD Collection for Fayetteville State University. AAI10610444.
http://digitalcommons.uncfsu.edu/dissertations/AAI10610444

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