Codeveloping and Implementing an Indigenous Mentoring Program for Native American Faculty in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

Maja Pedersen, Anne Des Rosier Grant, Jennifer Harrington, Annie Belcourt, Aaron Thomas, Serra Hoagland, Jordan P. Lewis, Ruth Plenty Sweetgrass She Kills, Otakuye Conroy-Ben, Eric Brodt, Karletta Chief, Michelle Johnson-Jennings, Kirsten Green Mink, Kathryn Milligan-McClellan, Matt Calhoun, Angela Ozburn, Vanessa Simonds, Stephan Chase, Ranalda Tsosie, Ke WeBlakely Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mentoring programs for Native American faculty in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields are critical toward developing, recruiting, and retaining Native American members of the professoriate. This article describes the development and implementation of an Indigenous Mentoring program for Native American faculty in STEM. Indigenous research methodology and method approaches were used to cogenerate the Indigenous mentoring program, and qualitative description and interpretive focus group methods were applied. Interviews were conducted with 23 Native American faculty—STEM to inform positive mentoring practices to increase their retention and success in STEM fields. A content analysis of the interview data identified common themes, and eight Native American faculty—STEM (program fellows) participated in an interpretive focus group to review data and findings and to codevelop the components and content of the Indigenous mentoring program. Based on these findings, the Indigenous mentoring program included four components: (a) informal, peer-to-peer gatherings; (b) formal group gatherings; (c) attendance at a scientific meeting; and (d) development of a formalized mentoring relationship. Process and outcome evaluations were completed. Program fellows (N = 8) were from two tribal colleges and universities (TCUs) and one predominantly White institution. The Indigenous mentoring program was 9 months in duration, with eight informal, peer-to-peer gatherings, and three formal group mentoring sessions. Findings indicate the program fellows found the Indigenous mentoring program to be useful and meaningful for the career advancement and success of Native American faculty and instructors in STEM fields. The program can serve as an effective platform for improving mentoring, retention, and success of Native American faculty—STEM and increase their numbers in STEM disciplines.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Diversity in Higher Education
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • faculty development and retention
  • mentoring
  • multiple methods
  • Native American
  • science, technology, engineering and mathematics


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