RIVERSIDE, Calif. – A growing number of universities are offering programs to recruit and prepare Native American students for a transition to college life that can bring on a wrenching emotional conflict.
Many young Native Americans find themselves divided by their desire for a higher education and the drive to stay close to home to hold onto a critical part of their identity. Sometimes, families discourage children from pursuing college, fearing once they leave the reservation they won't come back.
To help prepare them, dozens of schools have started mini-college boot camps, including the University of California, Riverside, Yale and Duke.
Officials say they want to help students understand that they can make the transition between life on the reservation and college, and prepare them so they don't flounder once they arrive.