American Indian

Teacher Program

Roasting salmon in the PSU park blocks

Portland State University's College of Education (COE) is recruiting student candidates interested in becoming a licensed teacher through the American Indian Teacher Program, funded by the Office of Indian Education, the U.S. Department of Education.

The American Indian Teacher Program prepares American Indian Students for success in the Graduate Teacher Education Program (GTEP), a teacher licensure and master's degree program. AITP Fellow Support* may include tuition (paid in full for three academic terms and one summer term only), living stipends (Up $1,000* provided annually to each student), school-related fees, and licensure costs (fingerprint costs and licensure application). The program will prepare 15 Native American teachers through 2020 to teach in schools with significant numbers of Native students enrolled.

Fellows recruited to the AITP must first apply to GTEP.   No expenses can be paid for students until they sign AITP payback agreement. Our office can assist students in applying to the PSU Graduate School and to the College of Education.

A payback to the U.S. Department of Education provision applies to each AITP recipient of financial assistance.  This can be done through service by teaching at a school serving a significant population of American Indian and/or Alaskan Native students for a period of time equal to the financial assistance received, or by repaying in cash all funding which was awarded to him or her.

This award does not cover payment for parking permits, fees for required test re-takes, and printing fees beyond that provided each term by the University to each student.

To apply or receive a program application, students should contact Mario Tenorio at

(*Exact amounts may vary)


  1. Apply to GTEP
    If you think you might be interested in a career in teaching, start planning now! You may need to take specific prerequisite courses before you can start the program—find out more information at GTEP. By submitting a single application in our College Net application system you will be considered for admission by your program as well as at Portland State University.
  2. Apply to AITP
    The program is to increase the numbers of qualified Native Americans' individuals in professions that serve their community. AITP will provide training to qualify individuals to become teachers, administrators, teachers aids, social workers, and ancillary educational personnel. Visit Forms to download the application.

Forms (TBA)

  • Tribal Membership
  • AITP Questions
  • AITP Payback Agreement
  • AITP Checklist

Prepare for GTEP

  1. Attend an open GTEP advising session that will explain the admissions process as well as the different options available.
  2. Decide between Early Childhood and/or Elementary teacher candidates are endorsed in Multiple Subjects. Middle Level and/or High School teacher candidates prepare for the following endorsements: art, biology, business, ...etc.
  3. Talk to your advisor. Don't forget to take your transcripts and Advisor Authorization Form.
  4. Have you completed all prerequisites? Do you need to waive a course?
  5. Passing scores on the ORELA exam (or a copy of a test registration confirmation)
  6. Apply for GTEP application
  7. Not a PSU student? Apply for PSU application