Discerning success of Indigenous health students in community-based programs [2016]

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Harder, Marti
Astle, Barbara
Grypma, Sonya
Voyageur, Evelyn
In recent years, there has been a shift in Canadian healthcare education. In some regions where access to healthcare education may be limited, post-secondary educational institutions have partnered with local Indigenous groups to provide community-based healthcare educational programs to attract and support Indigenous students. The purpose of this study was to explore how members of a community with a community-based healthcare program describe student success and the factors that influence it. As part of a qualitative study, eight participants from a northern Canadian community were interviewed about their descriptions of success, and its influencing factors in a community-based healthcare program. Findings were categorized under a core theme (courage) and categorical themes: nurturing the learning, owning the learning, and discerning success for learning. Conclusions of the study were: 1) students need courage to overcome fears and barriers related to post-secondary education; 2) student success is nurtured through a whole-person approach; 3) student success is fostered through intentional support by community members; 4) a key element of student success is learning to believe in oneself; and 5) individual student success is best understood as a collective community success.
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