John Carroll University was one of four Ohio universities selected for the Woodrow Wilson Foundation’s Teaching Fellows program, which aims to attract individuals from science, technology, engineering and math disciplines into teaching professions. The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation and the Ohio Board of Regents selected JCU.
Department of Education and Allied Studies Chair Brendan Foreman said that JCU submitted a letter of interest for the Fellowship to the Ohio Board of Regents, which included a broad outline of how JCU’s program would work and why such a program fits into the University’s philosophy, and also had an on-campus interview.
The program aims to improve STEM teaching in urban and rural high schools by attracting talented individuals.
“It [the fellowship] is for people with heavy experience in science, technology, engineering and mathematics who are switching fields or for people who haven’t started out yet,” said Foreman. “It is a way to bring in a number of people who didn’t go into education as an undergraduate.”
JCU’s program is still in the planning phrase.
“The Foundation made it clear it really, really wants innovation,” said Foreman.
The Woodrow Wilson Federation granted JCU $500,000. The money will be used for course releases for professors, materials and traveling related to the planning of the Fellowship program, which is expected to begin summer or fall 2011, according to Foreman.
The fellowships will be granted to 20 students each year, who agree to complete a one-year apprenticeship with a master-teacher and three years of teaching in rural or urban school.
The fellows will receive a $30,000 stipend each year.
Foreman said fellows would be paired with master-teachers from several Cleveland high schools, while earning a master’s degree in education at JCU.
“This will be a very hands-on, apprentice-like program,” said Foreman.
Fellows will be licensed teachers after one year. Their licenses will be in either mathematics and computer science or integrated sciences, according to Foreman.
“This is really big for JCU,” said Foreman. “It puts us in a nice class of fellow schools. Also, it is the Ohio Board of Regents saying ‘we have faith in you.’”
The University of Akron, the University of Cincinnati and The Ohio State University were also recipients of the Woodrow Wilson Ohio Teaching Fellowship program.
The universities will partner with Akron Public Schools, Cincinnati Public Schools, Columbus City Schools and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.
Universities in Ohio, Indiana and Michigan offer the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellows programs.