Circle of Learning is designed to recruit and support American Indians and Alaska Natives who are interested in earning a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree. The 3-year project ends at the close of the Spring 2013 semester, allowing support for up to 7 semesters of coursework. Circle of Learning students receive financial assistance and other support, including mentoring, career advisement, field experiences, involvement in professional conferences and workshops, and interaction with Native leaders in the profession. Circle of Learning’s unique blended approach of online curriculum delivery and face-to-face and mediated social and professional interactions will help scholarship recipients receive personalized support and develop a professional network that can benefit them in the years ahead.

Student Benefits

  • Scholarships: Financial support that covers most costs for tuition, fees, and course materials for up to 5 courses a year per student
  • Technology: Financial support towards the cost of technology related to enrolling in the iSchool’s fully online MLIS program, such as a computer, printer, software, headset with microphones, and/or internet connectivity
  • Professional development: Financial support towards registration for professional conferences or to join professional associations
  • Travel: Financial support that covers the costs for attending the Circle of Learning two-day opening meeting in January 2011, as well as one-day meetings to be held once a year in 2012 and 2013 and optional attendance at local professional conferences
  • Professional mentoring: Mentoring program delivered in partnership with the American Indian Library Association, providing students with one-on-one mentoring by an experienced professional
  • Peer mentoring: Mentoring by current iSchool students regarding how to be successful in the iSchool’s fully online MLIS program
  • Professional networking opportunities: Attendance at online and in-person meetings, as well as professional conferences, will provide the opportunity to network with library and information professionals
  • Internships: Optional internship that can help build connections between students, tribal communities, and potential future employers

Program Expectations / Requirements

  • Complete MLIS coursework with a B average or better
  • Attend Circle of Learning opening meeting and subsequent one-day annual meetings
  • Meet and interact with mentors on an ongoing basis
  • Participate in online Circle of Learning workshops
  • Maintain contact with Circle of Learning for at least 5 years following the program for evaluation purposes