W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Woodrow Wilson Michigan Teaching Fellowship - Teacher Education

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WKKF-WW Michigan State University
W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Woodrow Wilson
Michigan Teaching Fellowship

Frequently Asked Questions

Traditional teacher preparation programs consist of years spent sitting in university classrooms learning about teaching, with only brief exposure to a practicum—“student teaching”—at the end of the program. The Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship is designed to provide intensive classroom teaching experience from the beginning, along with content-rich courses that specifically prepare candidates to teach in their fields of expertise. By offering this preparation in the context of a master’s degree program, the Fellowship also enables new teachers to begin their classroom careers with an important and rewarding credential already in hand.

As one of six institutions participating across Michigan, Michigan State University will prepare up to 40 post-baccalaureate teaching candidates specifically for careers in urban schools.

The 15-month fellowship at MSU, which begins in summer 2011, includes summer courses on content and teaching methods and a full-year teaching internship modeled after the university's highly regarded initial teacher certification program. Fellows will complete the requirements for a master's degree in the year which follows certification, while they are being supported by the induction program we have put into place as they enter their first years of teaching.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation-Woodrow Wilson Michigan Teaching Fellows at Michigan State University will focus on preparing for teaching careers in urban schools, where STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) teachers are in especially high demand.

The Fellowship builds on the strengths of MSU’s highly-regarded teacher preparation program, which is informed by research on teaching and learning and closely tied to field-based practice. A central feature of the field-intensive program is a full-year urban residency, during which Fellows will work in Detroit or Grand Rapids urban school classrooms with experienced mentor teachers.

The Fellowship also draws on the MSU commitment to improving urban education. Faculty members have a history of developing successful partnerships with urban school districts, including Detroit Public schools, as well as creating effective courses for teachers in collaboration with scientists and mathematicians (Teachers for New Era project).

The Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship combines several best practices in teacher preparation by bringing together:

  • Excellent, paid preparation. The WW Teaching Fellowship offers Fellows a $30,000 stipend to pursue a high-quality master’s degree in teaching.
  • Immediate impact and ongoing support. Fellows teach in schools with high-need student populations, but also with leadership and support. As soon as they begin teaching, Fellows will receive mentoring from their universities and experienced teachers in their schools or districts.
  • Preparation for a successful career in teaching. While WW Teaching Fellows make a three-year commitment to teach in high-need schools, we believe that the high-quality preparation and support the Fellowship provides will position Fellows for a sustained and successful career in teaching. The Fellowship is not intended to be a short-term Peace Corps-like experience. Rather, it is designed as a launch pad for teacher development and professional growth that will help shape a new generation of outstanding educators and leaders in America’s classrooms.
  • Highly selective admission. The WW Teaching Fellowship seeks to increase the quality of teaching candidates, not just the quantity. As a prestigious pathway to teaching for gifted undergraduates and accomplished career changers, the Fellowship will bring new talent into teaching, elevate the profession, and provide the preparation and ongoing support needed for success in the classroom.
  • A new approach to teacher education. The Fellowship is more than a scholarship program. It seeks to transform teacher education while preparing future leaders in the teaching profession. The program will provide participating universities with new resources to develop model programs that prepare teachers in math- and science-related fields. The Woodrow Wilson Foundation will work with these universities in a broad range of areas: redesigning curricula to improve teacher preparation; creating clinical experiences in schools to help teacher candidates succeed with diverse populations; and assessing candidates’ performance in the classroom. In the long term, this approach can lead to the adoption of more rigorous teacher education standards nationwide

Once selected, Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellows become lifelong members of a national network of intellectual leaders. Today’s 20,000 Woodrow Wilson Fellows include 13 Nobel Laureates, 35 MacArthur “genius grant" recipients, 14 Pulitzer Prize winners, two Fields Medalists in mathematics, and many other noted scholars and leaders. In addition, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation can help Fellows find out about requirements for National Board Certification—for which Fellows will be eligible after three years of teaching.

The Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship focuses specifically on individuals with backgrounds in science, technology, engineering, and math—the STEM disciplines—because high-need urban and rural public high schools have the most difficulty in recruiting and retaining teachers in these fields. While industry and the academy compete for the attention of exceptionally well-qualified individuals in these disciplines, such individuals can have a powerful impact on the future of the students who need their expertise the most.
The Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship seeks to attract talented, committed individuals with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) backgrounds—including current undergraduates, recent college graduates, midcareer professionals, and retirees—into teaching in high-need secondary schools. A qualified applicant should:
demonstrate a commitment to the program and its goals;
have U.S. citizenship or permanent residency;
have attained, or expect to attain by June 30, 2012, a bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. college or university;
have majored in and/or have a strong professional background in a STEM field;
have achieved a cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale (negotiable for applicants from institutions that do not employ a 4.0 GPA scale)
Note: Prior teaching experience does not exclude a candidate from eligibility. All applications are considered in their entirety and selection is based on merit.

What benefits are offered as part of the program?
The Fellowship includes:
a $30,000 stipend
admission to a master’s degree program at a participating university
preparation for teaching in a high-need urban or rural secondary school
support and mentoring throughout the three-year teaching commitment
guidance toward teaching certification
lifelong membership in a national network of Woodrow Wilson Fellows who are intellectual leaders

The Fellowship will help retain high-quality teachers by making sure that their preparation is aligned with the skills teachers need to succeed in high-need schools, including significant teaching experience. Upon receiving their master’s degree, Fellows will be assisted in securing teaching placements within districts that have strong leaders, experienced teacher mentors, and pre-existing relationships with participating teacher education programs.
Every Fellow will receive ongoing, intensive mentoring and assessment focused on the first years of teaching, as well as opportunities for continuing education through the university they attended. Studies show that strong mentoring is one of the most important factors in new teachers’ success and satisfaction.

As part of their commitment to ensuring the success of students in high-need secondary schools, Fellows teach for at least three years in an urban or rural school district. Continuation as a teacher of record is contingent on the Fellow’s completing the master’s degree and obtaining appropriate teaching licensure.

Physical Science

The application for W.K. Kellogg Foundation-Woodrow Wilson Michigan Teaching Fellows will be available starting June 15, with materials due this fall. Check out the full timeline. (will be on the foundation site on June 15)  Applicants will apply to the Woodrow Wilson Foundation for the WKKF-WW Michigan Teaching Fellowship. Applications for the 2012 competition will be available on the Foundation's website in summer 2011. Fellows will be selected by early spring 2012 and will begin graduate studies in summer 2012. All applications will be accepted online only and only through the Woodrow Wilson Foundation.  Visit the Woodrow... website's apply for fellowship page.

All candidates will complete the online application. In addition to the online application, candidates will provide letters of recommendation and transcripts from all institutions attended. Candidates who are selected as finalists will also interview with a team of Woodrow Wilson selectors who are veteran teachers and teacher educators.  Interviews will be conducted at various sites throughout Michigan in fall and winter 2011-2012. Applicants selected for an interview will be asked to select the date and location that best works for them. The interview will begin at 1:00 PM and end at 5:30 PM. Applicants selected for an interview who live outside of Michigan will be provided with alternate opportunities to fully participate in the interview process.

Finalists selected for an interview should come prepared to spend the afternoon with the Woodrow Wilson interview team. Following an explanation of the day's schedule, finalists meet in small groups where each candidate presents a short sample teaching lesson. This lesson may be on any subject but should not be more than five minutes in length. A white board, chalk board, or chart paper will be available for each candidate's use. Each candidate may bring additional materials, as appropriate. Please note that finalists are not expected to know how to teach. The sample teaching lesson offers each candidate the opportunity to demonstrate his/her teaching potential.
Following the sample teaching lesson, each candidate will participate in a 30 minute one-on-one interview with a Woodrow Wilson selector. While candidates are waiting for their interview, or after they complete their interview, they will have 30 minutes to complete a short writing assignment. No advanced preparation is required for this part of the interview process.
The day will close with a whole group question and answer period where candidates are free to ask any additional questions about the program not previously addressed.

Click here for a list of available courses.

MSU is partnering with two large urban school districts in Michigan – Detroit Public Schools and Grand Rapids Public Schools – to give Fellows critical hands-on experience in the classroom with a mentor teacher and to provide them with the resources and experiences necessary to understand and become an effective urban educator.

To increase the quantity and strengthen the quality of Michigan math, science, and technology teachers, the WKKF-WW Michigan Teaching Fellowship is creating the equivalent of a National Merit Scholarship for teachers. The Fellowship, which will first be available for students entering graduate programs in the summer of 2011, offers recent graduates and career changers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) a stipend of $30,000 to complete a specially designed, cutting-edge master's degree program, in exchange for a commitment to teach for three years in high-need secondary urban or rural schools. The program provides Fellows with this stipend to support their preparation for teaching, including in-depth clinical experience in one of six selected Michigan teacher education programs. Once their preparation is complete and Fellows obtain teaching certification, they will be part of a cohort teaching in high-need schools in the same districts at the same time. The schools, along with university partners, will provide mentoring and support throughout the three-year Fellowship period. The Fellowship is administered by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation and is funded with a $16.7 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Leadership from the Governor’s office is also a key part of the program.

No, but the master's degree must be completed at one of the six Michigan partner institutions and the three-year teaching commitment must be fulfilled at a designated Michigan public school.

Ideally, WKKF-WW Michigan Teaching Fellows have an undergraduate major in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, or math) discipline or substantial work experience in a STEM-related field and are seeking a master's degree in STEM education and clinical experience in a Michigan public secondary school. Prior teaching experience does not exclude a candidate from eligibility. All applications are considered in their entirety and selection is based on merit.

The Fellowship program is looking primarily for applicants with an undergraduate major in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, or math) field. Others who may not have majored in a STEM field, but who have a minor or significant work experience in one of these fields, are also encouraged to apply. These applications will be judged on their merits.

Yes. If you feel your undergraduate GPA does not adequately reflect your capabilities, you may still apply for the Fellowship. A section of the application will provide an opportunity for you to describe and clarify any extenuating circumstances, and/or speak to ways in which you feel your accomplishments are a better measure of your excellence than your undergraduate GPA.

Yes, absolutely. Career changers of all ages are welcome to apply and can use professional accomplishments (for example, awards, professional certifications, service records) to demonstrate their potential. Partner institutions will work individually with candidates to certify that career changers selected as Fellows satisfy their own requirements for demonstrated content knowledge.

Yes. The $30,000 fellowship stipend is a direct payment to you that can be used toward tuition and living expenses. Each campus will have its own tuition and financial aid arrangements for Fellows.

Visit the Michigan State Univeristy controller's office website for current tuition rates. Potential fellows should look at the fraduate student tuition rates when calculating the cost for the the program. The $30,000 fellowship stipend you receive for being in the program is a direct payment to you that can be used toward tuition and living expenses. A limited number of competitive scholarships may be available to out-of-state residents which provide the difference between in- and out-of-state tuition rates.

First Summer:  12 credits (4 courses)
First Fall:  9 credits (3 courses)
First Spring:  9 credits (3 courses)
Second Summer:  3 credits   (1 course)
Second Spring:  3 credits (1 course)
Third Summer: 6 credits (2 courses)

These are Teacher Education courses only. Any content-specific (i.e., math or science) courses or their equivalent not yet taken and required for certification would be in addition to the courses listed.

In order to apply for need-based financial aid you will have to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  This form is available on-line at www.fafsa.ed.gov.  Because of the enrollment requirements for your program you will actually have to file two FAFSAs.  For the first summer enrollment you will need the FAFSA from that year, i.e. Summer 2011 will use the 2010/11 form, and for fall, spring and the following summer you will need the one for 2011/12.  Once you have completed those forms and we receive copies we will be able to begin the aid process.
There is no deadline for the aid application as we process aid all year.  Loan funds never run out but we do sometimes run out of the grant that we offer so we always advise students to apply as early as possible.

The Woodrow Wilson Teaching National Fellowship Foundation offers fellows in the program a $30,000 stipend to pursue a master’s degree in teaching. In addition, Michigan State will process your FAFSA to determine any need-based assistance that you may qualify for.
The fellowship’s value of $30,000 will be considered a resource during the enrollment period.  With that inclusion the need-based aid will be limited to the budget the university establishes for a Masters in Education.  The aid for graduate students usually consists of Stafford loans, both Subsidized and Unsubsidized, Graduate PLUS loans, and if in-state there may be a small grant.  For detailed information regarding these aid programs please refer to the financial aid home page at www.finaid.msu.edu.

The Federal government also offers loan forgiveness of up to $17,500 in Federal loans for math and science teachers who 1) meet the highly-qualified teacher status, 2) teach for five consecutive years, and 3) teach for these five years in a low-income school. As a Teaching Fellow, you should easily meet the criteria of being a highly-qualified teacher in a low-income school. For more information, please visit the Federal Loan Forgiveness Website.

The Federal government offers loan forgiveness of up to $17,500 in Federal loans for math and science teachers who 1) meet the highly-qualified teacher status, 2) teach for five consecutive years, and 3) teach for these five years in a low-income school. As a WKKF-WW Michigan Teaching Fellow, you should easily meet the criteria of being a highly-qualified teacher in a low-income school. For more information, please visit the Federal Student Aid Web site.

For a list of schools that qualify as high-need, please visit the Annual Directory of Designated Low-Income Schools for Teacher Cancellation Benefits.
The Annual Directory is updated in the fall of each year. For a comprehensive listing of high-need schools, you may check the previous year’s directory or periodically check the directory for the latest updates.

Grant amounts are taxable income to the extent that the aggregate scholarship or fellowship amounts received by the recipient exceed required tuition and fees (not including room and board), books, supplies and equipment required for courses of instruction. We recommend that you consult your tax advisor for further information.


Fellows will receive their stipends in two or three equal payments and may select the payment option that works best for them. For example, a Fellow may choose to receive a payment of $15,000 at the start of the first semester of coursework, upon confirmation from the partner university that the Fellow has registered, and the second payment of $15,000 at the start of the second semester. Fellows will choose the payment schedule once they have been selected and have accepted a Fellowship award. The stipend is paid directly to the Fellow.

Gail Richmond, Associate Professor of Science Education, serves as Director for the Kellogg Foundation-Woodrow Wilson Michigan Teaching Fellowship program at Michigan State University. She can be reached at gailr@msu.edu or (517) 432-4854.