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Beaded mortarboard, stole and textbooks

We believe that education is one of the most important things on which American Indian youth should focus. We also believe that it is how we will truly begin to address the health disparities that face Native people. There is a huge need for more American Indian people in the health professions and conducting health research. To begin to address this need, we have internships and scholarships available for American Indian students who are pursuing higher education.

College Preparatory Assistance

In collaboration with the Center for American Indian Studies at Johnson County Community College, CAICH helps to provide education for high school students about all aspects of applying and going to college. We have resources available for students and can provide one-on-one counseling about the application process and what to expect at college. For American Indian students who choose to attend a local college, CAICH members and our partners can provide mentorship and tutoring services in a variety of subject areas. If you are interested in learning more about our college preparatory assistance, please contact Jason Hale, MA, Assistant Director for Community Engagement & Education, at or 913-945-8722.


We have scholarship opportunities available for American Indian students interested in pursuing graduate study at KUMC in biostatistics, health policy and management, or public health at the master's or doctoral level.
All CAICH scholarships are for students who are interested in addressing health issues affecting American Indian communities. Our scholarships cover tuition and fees, a graduate research assistantship, professional development (travel and registration to attend conferences), and/or use of a computer for the duration of the scholarship. Which of these are covered is determined on a case-by-case basis and subject to available funds. Students at the master's level are considered CAICH Scholars; those at the doctoral level are considered CAICH Predoctoral Fellows.
To be eligible, the student must apply to both the CAICH scholarship and the appropriate KUMC program. Information about requirements for each graduate program can be found on their respective pages:

Requirements for CAICH Scholarships:

  • Must be American Indian/Alaska Native (Note: We DO NOT require a Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood or tribal enrollment card)
  • Meet all entrance requirements for the appropriate program and be accepted into the program
  • Signed cover letter specifically asking to be considered for the CAICH scholarship with written permission to view your application materials from the program to which you applied
  • 500 word minimum essay about a heath disparity affecting the American Indian community and what you would like to do to address it through your graduate work and beyond

If you would like more information about the CACH scholarship program, please fill out this form.


Summer Internship

In conjunction with our partners at the Center for American Indian Studies at Johnson County Community College, we have a paid eight-week internship for undergraduate college students in June and July each year. All interns gain valuable, hands-on experience on research projects and service activities related to health disparities in American Indian communities. Summer interns are expected to work 40 hours per week.

The majority of time is spent in either the CAICH offices at KUMC or the CAIS offices at JCCC (determined based on interests of the student and where that work is being done), but all interns spend time in both offices and in community locations throughout Kansas and Missouri, as well as the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, where we spend a week providing service and education to youth and adults.

Requirements for summer internships:

  • Must be in good academic standing (2.5 cumulative GPA)
  • Submit cover letter and resume
  • Provide two references and their contact information
  • Submit unofficial transcripts from all schools attended
  • Submit a 500-word essay on a topic related to American Indian health
  • The online application is due April 1 each year

Fall and Spring Internships

We have semester-long internships available for college and graduate students for credit hours. The number of hours worked per week are dependent on specific program requirements. Students can use these internships for practicum experiences at many schools. Internships during the school year are tailored to the needs of individual students and fall within the scope of CAICH's mission.
If you would like more information about any of our internship programs, please fill out the form available here.

American Indian Focused Classes at the University of Kansas

The University of Kansas offers several classes focused on American Indian health and cultures, as well as other issues of importance to American Indian communities. These classes span across KU campuses and many are taught by CAICH faculty members or CAICH partners.

American Indian Health Classes in the Master of Public Health Program

Members of CAICH teach two American Indian focused classes offered through the MPH Program. Classes are open to graduate students from any KUMC or KU graduate program. If you are a student in another graduate program, check with your program advisor about whether or not these classes are accepted for your program. Some undergraduate students may be able to take these classes as well. Interested undergraduate students should talk with their advisors about taking graduate level classes.

PRVM 880: Seminar in American Indian Health: This is a graduate-level course designed to teach students about current issues in American Indian health, as well as provide a basic historic context for understanding these issues. Students will read current literature from the academic journals and will be exposed to research being done today in American Indian communities, some of which has not yet been published. In addition, students will gain an understanding of what health disparities exist in American Indian communities and some of the reasons why they exist, including access issues and other barriers to care, from both Western and Native points of view. Students will be exposed to some of the difficulties in conducting health research in Native communities and some of the more successful techniques to overcome barriers.

PRVM 847: American Indian Health Disparities: This is a graduate-level course designed to teach students about current research being done around the country to address health disparities faced by American Indian communities. Students will attend a weekly one-hour seminar on-line and will be given readings to accompany each lecture. Lectures will be done by faculty at various universities, as well as members of community organizations and/or tribes who are conducting research. Students may take the course multiple times; each semester will be unique in terms of topics and accompanying readings, as well as lecturers. Some semesters may focus on a particular health topic for the full semester, eg - cancer or diabetes. This course is designed to be a seminar series that changes each time it is taught.

American Indian Classes Offered on the KU-Lawrence Campus

The KU-Lawrence campus is home to the Indigenous Studies Program, where students can earn a Master of Arts or undergraduate minor in Indigenous Studies. There is also a graduate certificate in Indigenous Studies and a combined MA/JD with the KU School of Law. Students from the medical campus can take courses offered on the Lawrence campus; interested students should talk with their advisors to discuss options. For more information on the courses offered through Indigenous Studies and other academic programs and departments on the Lawrence campus, visit the Indigenous Studies Program website.

Last modified: Sep 02, 2019
Contact Us

Center for American Indian Community Health logo

Mailing Address:

Mailstop 1030
3901 Rainbow Blvd.
Kansas City, KS 66160

Physical Address:

4125 Rainbow Blvd.
2nd Floor
Kansas City, KS 66160

Main phone: 913-588-0866
Toll-free: 855-55-CAICH (or 855-552-2424)
Fax: 855-315-0055