Grads: Claremont Native American Fellowship

Claremont Graduate University (CGU) has a partnership with the US Department of Education that will allow us to provide full tuition, living stipends, and a year of post-program mentorship to Native Americans who want to earn a master’s degree in education and a California teaching credential, which can also be used in other states.

To learn more about the Claremont Native American Fellowship, visit the CNA Fellowship web page, and learn more by reading the FAQs.

We are looking for eight CNA fellows to start our teacher credential program in May 2019.

Service Agreement

In exchange for full tuition and monthly living support, CNA Fellows will have a 15-month service commitment to teach in a K-12 school serving Indian youth.

Although CGU will aid the CNA Fellows in their quest to secure post-program employment, it will ultimately be the Fellows’ responsibility to get a job at a school that serves Native American students.

It is important for the CNA Fellows to realize that finding a school that meets the requirements of the service condition might involve moving to a region/area with higher concentrations of Native Americans. There are not many schools in California with robust Native American populations. To be clear: There are ample schools and jobs that meet the criteria but they often are not in California. Many of these schools are located in Alaska, Washington, Arizona, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.

Interested parties can get a sense of the job market in Bureau of Indian Education Schools by looking at (Please realize, though, that BIE schools are just one of the options for fulfilling the service agreement. Many public schools also serve large populations of Native American youth.)

If the CNA Fellow fails to meet this service agreement, the total amount of funds given becomes a loan that must be repaid to the Department of Education. As such, it is imperative that CNA Fellows are committed to the teaching profession and specifically in working with Native American youth for at least 15 months.

If you are interested in learning the details of the service agreement, please contact Melanie Kerr by emailing or calling 909-607-8061).


Participants in the program must have a bachelor’s degree and must show that they, a parent, or a grandparent are members of a state or federally recognized tribe. (See below for more information on this.)

For the purposes of this program, the US Department of State says that someone is “Indian” if he/she can provide documentation that he/she is:

  • a member of an Indian tribe or band, as membership is defined by the Indian tribe or band, including any tribe or band terminated since 1940, and any tribe or band recognized by the state in which the tribe or band resides;
  • a descendant of a parent or grandparent who meets the requirements described in the previous bullet;
  • considered by the Secretary of the Interior to be an Indian for any purpose;
  • an Eskimo, Aleut, or other Alaska Native; or
  • a member of an organized Indian group that received a grant under the Indian Education Act of 1988 as it was in effect on October 19, 1994.

Application process

The priority deadline is November 1, 2018. Starting the application process early is advantageous.

To apply, a candidate must:

  • Complete an online application at
  • Submit three letters of recommendation.
  • Submit a short statement of purpose (essay).
  • Provide transcripts that show he/she has earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. (Unofficial transcripts can be submitted as a placeholder until official transcripts are available.)
  • Submit documentation that he/she has passed the California Basic Education Skills Test (CBEST) and has ideally passed the California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET). These examinations can be taken online, so one does not need to be in California to take these tests. (Please note: There is strong interest in the CNA Program, so we expect to have a competitive pool. Applicants who have passed both the CBEST and CSET will be far more competitive than those who have just passed the CBEST. As such, we recommend that candidates aim to have both tests passed at the time they apply.)
  • Provide documentation that he/she meets the definition of “Indian” provided by the US Department of Education for the purposes of this program (see above).
  • Have an interview with faculty from CGU. This can be done in person at CGU or via Skype.

All candidates will be asked to show that they do not have tuberculosis and have a “clean” DOJ/FBI record.

Parties wanting assistance completing the application should contact CGU’s senior assistant director of admissions, Rachel Camacho, by emailing or calling 909-621-9418.

More information

Interested parties can also contact the director of the CNA program, DeLacy Ganley by emailing or calling 909-621-8075.

10 (next) steps for those interested in applying…

If a person is convinced that this is indeed a good program for him/her, the next steps are to…

1.  Send and an email to confirm that he/she is applying. This is a good time to also ask specific questions about the program.

2.  Start an online application.

3.  Confirm that he/she can document Native American heritage by completing/submitting the eligibility form found at

4.  Contact and ask her to go over the service agreement. (It is best to look at this agreement early on in the process so that there are no surprises down the line.)

5.  Study and pass the California Basic Education Skills Test (CBEST). This is a basic skills test.  There are three sections: reading, writing and math.  People who have already passed the CBEST should send confirmation of passage to

6.  Study and pass the California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET). This is the test that the state of California uses to determine if a person knows enough about the submit he/she wants to teach. As such, if somebody wants to be a math teacher, he/she takes the Math CSET.  If somebody wants to be an English teacher, he/she takes the English CSET. People who have already passed the CSET should send confirmation of passage to

7.  Submit college transcripts. Have them sent to  Unofficial transcripts are acceptable for the application process (though official transcripts will eventually need to be submitted.)

8.  Write an admissions essay.

9.  Ask three people to write letters of recommendation. Ideally at least one will be able to speak to the applicant’s experiences working with youth and at least one will speak to the applicant’s academic abilities.

10. Plan on attending an information session at CGU or one of our webinars. Or, simply call us with questions. Interested parties may also come to CGU for a tour or to sit in on a class.  Requests for campus visits should be directed to