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Graduate Student Programs

Board Fellows Program

The Board Fellows Program places Foster MBA and Evans MPA students as non-voting board members of local nonprofit organizations. With 75+ graduate students and over 2.5 million people impacted annually, this is one of the largest Board Fellows Programs in the country and serving nonprofits throughout Washington State as well as California and New York.

Information Session:

What to Expect

Students develop board leadership skills through three channels:

Board Service
Students attend regularly scheduled meetings of the board (generally monthly) from September to May and actively participate in one board committee. Students are non-voting members of the board but are encouraged to participate in discussions and share their unique knowledge and perspective.

Board Project
Each board will be assigned two student board fellows, and together the students complete a board-level project for their nonprofit. Students work with their board mentor to identify a project that is important to the board of directors, uses the fellows’ skills and furthers the work of a board committee or the board as a whole.

Board Leadership Class Webinars
The Board Leadership Class Webinar assist the student in maximizing their learning by matching best-practice frameworks that they apply through their board service. Among topics covered are:

  • The fundamental responsibilities of board members
  • The challenges faced by board members during these present times
  • The ways boards shape the organization’s strategic direction
  • The ways that board members can strengthen their organization’s financial management and stability
  • The strengths and limitations of various board governance structures

Why be a Board Fellow?

Seeing your knowledge in action is one of the most important and rewarding experiences you can have as a student. No matter where you are in your educational career, the Board Fellows Program is a great way to start using your business education to make meaningful impact in our local communities. Here are some of the things you can look forward to during the program:

  • Develop a solid foundation in board governance and professional consulting practices through board projects with nonprofits
  • Build effective and creative skills for community leadership through board service and committee participation
  • Make an impact that will be felt way beyond the time you serve on the nonprofit board through the work you do and the people you meet
  • Earn credit to fulfill MBA/MPA electives

Check out one of our prerecorded information sessions for more details about the program.

Application Timeline and Notification Dates

The Foster Board Fellows Program offers one per year—each fall. You may apply on March 7, 2022 after all the nonprofits have been selected for the upcoming academic year.

Date Event
Monday, March 7, 2022 Student Application Available
Friday, April 15, 2022 Application Deadline (11:59 pm. PST)
Monday, April 18, 2022 Student applications and resumes sent to Nonprofits
Monday, April 18 – Friday, April 29, 2022 Nonprofits review and select the top 6-8 students they wish to interview
Friday, April 29, 2022 Last day to turn in student selection
Friday, May 6, 2022 Selected students are notified if they are selected to be interviewed
Friday, May 13, 2022 Interview/ Matching Day*
Friday, May 20, 2022 Last day to turn in Nonprofit ranking and student ranking after interview
Monday, May 23 – Friday, May 27, 2022 Matching done by CBDC
Monday, May 30, 2022 Matching announces to Nonprofits and students
Friday, June 10, 2022 Last day to accept Board Fellows offer

*Subjected to change following state’s health guidance.


Application opens to students who are completing their second or third year of studying including Full-time MBA, Evening MBA, Hybrid MBA, TMMBA, and MPA.

The 2022-2033 Board Fellows Program opens to Class of 2023 (2-year programs) and Class of 2024 (3-year programs).

The application will be opened on Monday, March 7, 2022.

Application Requirements

  • Complete an online application
  • Complete a short essay question
  • Resume

Matching Process

Matching Process



Vy Nguyen, [email protected], (206) 543-3681

The Power of Access: Impact Lending to Underserved Communities (FIN 579)

Do you want to gain valuable career skills and expand your professional network through this unique opportunity for hands-on experience in financial consulting? Consider applying for our MBA Lending Course entitled The Power of Access: Impact Lending to Underserved Communities (FIN 579), this winter.

Class Purpose: Engage our MBA students in working with small BIPOC businesses to gain access to business loans. Teams of students will perform financial assessments, risk analyses, forecasts and create loan packages for these businesses to submit Commerce Bank for approval. In addition to helping businesses secure debt financing, MBA students will learn about how systemic bias can play into the gaps in access to capital.

Class Goal: Perform complete analyses of BIPOC businesses seeking debt financing, working with business owner(s) to project future financing needs over the life of the loan. Once this work is completed, students will complete Commerce Bank loan packages for a select group of businesses to the Commerce Bank for approval.

Winter Quarter Class Times:
Tuesdays, January 3, 2023 – March 14, 2023
6:00pm – 8:50pm

Class Instructor: Michelle Purnell-Hepburn

Application Based Course
Practical Experience Credit
4 Credits

Program Timeline

Applications Due: Rolling basis
Program Begins: Jan 3, 2023
Program Ends: March 14, 2023
Application Link:

For more information, contact:

Kennedy Cockrel, Assistant Director
Consulting & Business Development
[email protected]