P57 – The demographics and academic progression of Indigenous and first-generation university students: a quantitative analysis

Auditorium – MONDAY 15:30-16:30

One Hour Paper

Dr. Rod Lastra and Dr. Lori Wallace

Extended Education, University of Manitoba

Dr. Lori Wallace is currently a Professor in Extended Education, University of Manitoba, and served as Dean of Extended Education from 2006-13. Current publications include institutional policy for online/blended learning, online student demographics; and the educational outcomes of Indigenous and disadvantaged learners.

Dr. Rod Lastra is currently a Program Director with Access & Aboriginal Focus Programs within Extended Education, University of Manitoba. He completed his Ph.D., in Biological Sciences from the University of Manitoba. Current research activities include the development of preparatory mathematics and science curriculum as well as developing bridging programs in environmental science and ecology.

Summary

Presentation of the results of a quantitative study on the demographics and academic progression of self-identified Indigenous students at a Canadian university, 2006-2014. What are the trends in these students’ demographics, academic choices, and academic progress? Which factors are associated with academic progression and success?

Abstract

Results of the first phase of a research project designed to better understand the demographics and academic progression of self-identified Indigenous students, and students in an Access Program at the University of Manitoba, Canada from 2006 to 2014. (The Access Program provides a variety of supports to students who have traditionally not had the opportunity to pursue degree studies because of social, economic, cultural reasons or lack of formal education.) Research questions include: What are the trends in these students’ demographics, academic choices, and academic progress? Which factors are associated with academic progression and success? Profiles and data to be presented include demographics as well as variables related to academic preparation, choices and persistence (e.g., academic preparation prior to admission, admission status, course loads, programs of study, and patterns of academic performance including GPAs, and graduation statistics. While universities have considerable experience supporting Indigenous and first-generation learners, there have been few published analyses of the demographic profiles and academic progression of these populations. The current study will add to the scholarship relating to first-generation students in higher education by providing an analysis of trends, identification of factors associated with overcoming barriers and achieving academic success for these groups, and development of recommendations to enhance student support and success.

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