Enduring Legacies Native Case Studies

Case Study

Educational Attainment for Native Americans: The Value of a College Education

Author: Meyer A. Louie


The case takes a quantitative approach in exploring the value of higher education for Native Americans. Descriptive statistical methods are applied to empirical data from the US Census Bureau. Students are asked to consider and analyze educational attainment and its correlation to median income levels, labor force participation, and poverty rates. Other statistical measures (median, ratios, and tables and charts critiques) are performed, analyzed, and interpreted. The quantitative measures and calculations can be tailored to fit the audience – depending on the level of complexity and involvement the instructor and audience wish to pursue. Hence, the questions at the end of the case are organized into two levels: Level One (treatment is less rigorous and involved, less time is available for study) and Level Two (treatment is more rigorous, more time is available to study the case. The quantitative approach of the case attempts to provide an informed answer to the all-important question: For Native Americans, is there real value in getting a college education?

Updated: May 26, 2010