Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship

The Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship is a program of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation that recruits, supports, and prepares individuals for teaching careers, typically in fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

President Barack Obama cited the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship as a model of STEM teacher preparation in a January 2010 speech on his administration's Educate to Innovate initiative.[1]


In 2007, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation began to focus on the closing of achievement gap, both at the K-12 level and also for institutions of higher education.

According to studies by various researchers and organizations, improvement in teacher expertise is the best way to improve student achievement,[2][3] and teacher preparation is an important factor in improving learning outcomes.[4]

Based on these findings, the Foundation created the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship program. Teacher candidates who are graduating from or have graduated from college, including graduating college seniors, recent graduates, and midcareer or second-career professionals, are selected to receive fellowships of approximately $30,000, which they use to enroll in master's degree programs for teacher preparation at universities selected by the Foundation. They teach at associated local public secondary schools from the beginning of their master's work. In exchange for the Fellowship, Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellows commit to teach in high-need urban or rural schools for three years. During the three-year period they receive ongoing mentoring from both their university and the school district in which they are placed.

The Leonore Annenberg Teaching FellowshipEdit

The first Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship, called the Leonore Annenberg Teaching Fellowship, was created in 2007 with funding from the Annenberg Foundation.[5] Its Fellows enroll in master's-level teacher preparation at four selected national universities—Stanford University and the Universities of Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington. Each of the four universities conducts its own application and admissions process, with review by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation.

State-based Woodrow Wilson Teaching FellowshipsEdit

In late 2007, the foundation launched the Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellowship.[6][7] Supported by Lilly Endowment,[8] the WW Indiana Teaching Fellowship focuses on STEM teaching, recruiting 80 Fellows per year to attend teacher preparation programs at Ball State University, IUPUI, Purdue University, and the University of Indianapolis. IUPUI and the University of Indianapolis prepare teachers for Indianapolis-area schools—while Ball State works with the Muncie and Anderson schools and Purdue prepares teachers specifically for a network of rural Indiana schools.

The next states to create Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowships, Michigan and Ohio, launched their programs in late 2009 [9][10] and 2010,[11] respectively. The first classes of Fellows in these states begin their studies in summer 2011.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation's Woodrow Wilson Michigan Teaching Fellowship, works with six universities: Eastern Michigan University, Grand Valley State University, Michigan State University, University of Michigan, Wayne State University, and Western Michigan University.[12] Partner school districts include Battle Creek, Benton Harbor, Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Kalamazoo.

The Woodrow Wilson Ohio Teaching Fellowship, supported by the Ohio Board of Regents’ Choose Ohio First program, with additional funds from a statewide group of private philanthropies, works with John Carroll University, The Ohio State University, the University of Akron, and the University of Cincinnati. Partnering Ohio districts include Akron, Canton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus.

Like the Indiana program, the Fellowships in Michigan and Ohio programs focus specifically on preparing teachers in the STEM fields for high-need secondary schools in their states.

Georgia institutions Columbus State University, Kennesaw State University and Piedmont College are also hosting Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellows.[13]

The Woodrow Wilson-Rockefeller Brothers Fund (WW-RBF) Fellowship for Aspiring Teachers of ColorEdit

Created by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund in 1992, the WW-RBF Fellowship was transferred to the Woodrow Wilson Foundation in 2009. The program works to recruit, support, and retain individuals of color as K-12 public school teachers in the United States. Fellows must use their awards for master's programs at one of 27 teacher preparation programs designated by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation.


  1. ^ "Remarks by the President on the 'Educate to Innovate' Campaign and Science Teaching and Mentoring Awards" (January 2, 2010).
  2. ^ What Matters Most, pp. 6-8 (September 1996), The National Commission on Teaching and America's Future, Washington, D.C.
  3. ^ See, for example, William L. Sanders and June C. Rivers, "Cumulative and Residual Effects of Teachers on Future Student Academic Achievement" (November 1996), The University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and Reginald Clark, "Closing the Achievement Gaps" (November 2002), Learning Point Associates/North Central Regional Educational Laboratory.
  4. ^ Sean Corcoran, "Human Capital Policy and the Quality of the Teacher Workforce," in Dan Goldhaber and Jane Hannaway, eds., Creating a New Teaching Profession (Washington, DC: The Urban Institute Press, 2010), p. 31; see also Donald Boyd, Pamela Grossman, Hamilton Lankford, Susanna Loeb, and James Wyckoff, "Teacher Preparation and Student Achievement" (August 2008), CALDER Working Paper No. 20, The Urban Institute, Washington, D.C.
  5. ^ "Foundation Hopes to Lure Top Students to Teaching"(December 20, 2007), The New York Times.
  6. ^ "Project's aim: Revamp colleges, create better teachers" (December 20, 2007), The Indianapolis Star.
  7. ^ Indiana (2009). Acts: Laws Enacted by the ... General Assembly at the ... Special Session and the ... Regular Session. Central Publishing Company. p. 2002.
  8. ^ "New principal training program will expand with Lilly’s support". Chalkbeat Indiana. Hayleigh Colombo, September 3, 2014
  9. ^ "Michigan lures teachers to inner cities with $16.7M program" (November 7, 2009), The Detroit News.
  10. ^ "Colleges get grant for math, science teachers" (January 7, 2010), The Detroit Free Press.
  11. ^ "4 Ohio colleges among leaders in training science, math teachers" (March 3, 2010), The Columbus Dispatch.
  12. ^ Mack, Julie. "Quit your job and go into teaching? Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship puts math, science professionals in the classroom", MLive.
  13. ^ [Columbus State part of Georgia's inaugural class of fellows to improve STEM teachers"]. Ledger-Inquirer. By MARK RICE June 26, 2015

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