The Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship is a program of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation that recruits, supports, and prepares accomplished 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 focused on his administration’s Educate to Innovate initiative.[1]


In 2007, the board and staff of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation identified the closing of achievement gap as the nation’s most urgent education need, both at the K-12 level and also for institutions of higher education.

According to studies by various researchers and organizations, "teacher expertise is the most important factor in student achievement,"[2][3] and well-prepared teachers "systematically produce better outcomes than other teachers."[4] Based on these findings, the Foundation created the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship program. The Fellowship has four goals: to place teachers in high-need secondary schools, to attract outstanding candidates to teaching, to reduce teacher attrition, and to improve teacher preparation. The fellowship has been called “the Rhodes Scholarship of teaching.”

Program Approach

Fellowships for teacher candidates

The Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowships recruit high-achieving candidates who are graduating from or have graduated from college and show promise as teachers—including graduating college seniors, recent graduates, and midcareer or second-career professionals—to careers in teaching. Fellows, selected in rigorous competition, receive stipends of approximately $30,000 and enroll in intensive, clinically based master’s degree programs for teacher preparation at selected universities.

Ongoing mentoring

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.

University participation

Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellows may only use their Fellowships at partner universities carefully selected by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation for their excellence and also their willingness to rethink and improve teacher preparation.

School participation

Partner universities for the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship typically have existing collaborations with local public secondary schools, in which Fellows teach from the beginning of their master’s work.

Program Models and Sites

The Leonore Annenberg Teaching Fellowship

The Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship was launched in 2007 with the creation of the Leonore Annenberg Teaching Fellowship.[5] Funded by the Annenberg Foundation, the program recruits Fellows into master’s-level teacher preparation at four selected national universities—Stanford University and the Universities of Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington—that showcase excellence in teacher preparation. Each of the four universities conducts its own application and admissions process, with review by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation.

State-based Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowships

At the same time, in late 2007, the Woodrow Wilson announced the launch of the Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellowship.[6] Supported by Lilly Endowment and Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, 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—including theIndianapolis Public Schools and those of Wayne and Decatur Townships—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 [7] [8] and 2010 [9], 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, endorsed by Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, works with six universities: Eastern Michigan University, Grand Valley State University, Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, Wayne State University, and Western Michigan University. Partner school districts include Battle Creek, Benton Harbor, Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Kalamazoo.

The Woodrow Wilson Ohio Teaching Fellowship—endorsed by Ohio Governor Ted Strickland and 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.

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

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. Like other Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellows, WW-RBF Fellows receive a $30,000 stipend to help cover the cost of their preparation and commit to teach in high-need urban or rural schools for at least three years and receive mentoring from both the university and the school district during these initial years of teaching.


  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. "Michigan lures teachers to inner cities with $16.7M program" (November 7, 2009), The Detroit News.
  8. "Colleges get grant for math, science teachers" (January 7, 2010), The Detroit Free Press.
  9. "4 Ohio colleges among leaders in training science, math teachers" (March 3, 2010), The Columbus Dispatch.

External Links

Category:Education Category:Education reform Category:Educational organizations Category:Foundations based in the United States Category:Organizations established in 1945

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Wikipedia talk:Articles for creation/Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship, that was deleted or is being discussed for deletion, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
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