Tribal Colleges Struggle to Connect
Sara Weissman, Diverse Issues in Higher Education
A couple of weeks ago, the Wi-Fi in the Arizona home of Shawn Nez kept flickering on and off. Nez is in Pima County, home to the capitol of the Tohono O’odham Nation. He graduated from the local tribal college, Tohono O’odham Community College, in 2016, before transferring to Navajo Technical University.
The halting Wi-Fi Nez describes isn’t uncommon in tribal lands—and it’s a long-standing challenge for tribal colleges and universities. Internet connectivity issues put a strain on students, preventing them from completing class assignments and keeping in touch with faculty.