Previous Initiative

Opportunities for UnderRepresented Scholars (OURS)

After transferring from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, this program was revised (in collaboration with Dr. Deborah His Horse is Thunder) to meet the specific needs of women faculty in STEM fields at the nation’s Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs). With funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Fielding Graduate University partnered with the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) to offer a Post-Graduate Certificate in Academic Leadership.

This certificate program was designed to prepare and position participants for leadership roles up to and including the senior administrative levels at Tribal Colleges and Universities. The program focused on many seminal topics in higher education such as: contemporary and future issues in higher education, financial and budgetary issues affecting TCUs, governance, and institutional advancement, as well as personal attributes that enhance opportunities and success for women in academic leadership.

The program was delivered primarily in a face-to-face format over the course of one academic year, consisting of four on-site residencies (at two TCUs, one at the AIHEC Conference, and the final one in Washington, D.C.), plus monthly webinars. In addition, each Fellow was required to conduct an Action Learning Project under the tutelage of a designated home institution sponsor. The program also provided each Fellow with leadership assessments and an academic leadership coach to enhance her acquisition of leadership skills.

All expenses (including travel, tuition and fees) were paid for each Fellow. In addition, each Fellow was awarded a stipend of $3,000 upon successful completion of the program.

During the 2016-2017, seven (7) Fellows from the following TCUs completed the program and received a Post-Graduate Certificate in Academic Leadership from Fielding Graduate University.

Blackfeet Community College
Browning, Montana

Little Big Horn College
Crow Agency, Montana

Northwest Indian College
Bellingham, Washington

Sitting Bull College
Fort Yates, North Dakota

Southwest Indian Polytechnic Institute
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Turtle Mountain Community College
Belcourt, North Dakota


nsf4This program was made possible through a generous grant from the National Science Foundation: Grant #1217427