A conceptual model to support rural American Indian youth in pursuit of higher education


Seeking to close the gap in higher education achievement, we created the nahongvita model—a model that would intersect the roles of home environments, academic environments, community, and history to empower American Indian students from rural communities to succeed in higher education. Interweaving our individual and collective voices throughout the article, we provide a glimpse of our Hopi and Fort Peck Assiniboine identities to describe and further define the concepts of “Home,” “home,” “history,” and “community.” We introduce selected work by our colleagues who presented models or concepts that support American Indian students’ pursuit of higher education. In doing so, we depict a history of what transitions to higher education institutions have meant for American Indian students and why the nahongvita model is important in a contemporary context. The nahongvita model provides a unique platform in that it is broadly applicable to Indigenous communities; it empowers students to utilize their own experiences to define “Home” and “home” communities.