The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation granted the American Indian College Fund funding to assist faculty members at Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) seeking to complete 18 graduate credit hours in the fields they teach to meet recent accreditation requirements for highly qualified faculty. Priority will be given to faculty at TCUs accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Fellowships will be awarded for a period of up to three consecutive semesters for each candidate; the amounts received will be based on candidates’ submitted budgets and necessary graduate credits (minimum of 6 and maximum of 18), with an upper limit of $15,000. Fellowships may be used for tuition, fees, books, travel to classes, and other educational expenses. Instructions for applying for the Graduate Hours Program fellowship are provided within this online application where there will be places to upload required documents such as your personal statement.
Applicants must meet all the following criteria:
- Be a current tribal college faculty member in need of additional graduate credits to continue teaching current courses. The College Fund holds a strong preference for collaborating with the TCUs to “grow their own” faculty members from their communities.
- Be admitted to or enrolled in an institution that offers the graduate credits needed to meet the accreditation requirements for highly qualified faculty. The Mellon Foundation prefers to fund graduate degrees in the humanities and humanistic social sciences; please see Appendix A for preferred fields of study.
- Be committed to completing the necessary graduate credits (minimum of 6 and maximum of 18) within three (3) consecutive semesters (fall, spring, and summer) of receiving the fellowship.
- Committed to serving at a TCU for at least two years after completion of the fellowship.
- Possess a demonstrated commitment to American Indian education and scholarship.
Eligibility Checklist/Required Documents:
- Application. Completed application, including applicant information and signed commitment to continuing to teach at a TCU
- Personal Statement
- Letter from Chief Academic Officer/Academic Dean
- Proof of admission or enrollment in graduate credits from an accredited institution
- Official Transcripts (if applicable)
- Academic Plan with Detailed Budget
There will be places to upload each document throughout the application process. Please upload the appropriate document(s) in each section.
- Attend a two-day fellowship orientation program.
- Submit a one-page summary report at the end of each semester to the College Fund’s Program Officer.
- Maintain monthly contact with the College Fund’s Program Officer.
- Maintain regular contact with the College Fund’s Program Officer during and after completion of Graduate Hours Program.
- Complete all necessary graduate credits (minimum of 6 and maximum of 18) within three (3) consecutive semesters (fall, spring, summer) of being awarded the fellowship.
The College Fund and fellowship review committee will assess the quality of applications with reference to the following criteria:
- Nomination from Chief Academic Officer/Academic Dean
- Demonstrated need for up to 18 additional graduate credits to continue teaching
- Academically capable of completing 6-18 graduate credits within three consecutive semesters
- Demonstrated commitment of applicant to American Indian/Alaska Native education and scholarship
- Demonstrated persistent and respectful engagement with communities served by TCUs
- Competence displayed in the application – clarity and completeness of the written materials
- Commitment to remain as TCU faculty for two years after completing the graduate credits
Do not hesitate to contact Crystal LoudHawk-Hedgepeth, Research Associate, at 303-430-5336 or firstname.lastname@example.org, for further information.