On June 10, 2015, the Michigan Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP) celebrated 40 years of history. But it is not the only milestone the program is celebrating: Over the years, the program has welcomed and mentored more than 1,000 fellows, and the 2014-15 class is the largest it has seen yet with 37 members. The class “graduated” from the 10-month program at the June event, which welcomed alumni and prospective fellows for upcoming classes.
“The importance of the EPFP is that it helps people develop an understanding of policy, policy-making and skills required to make policy as leaders,” Dan Schultz said. Schultz has been program coordinator of the EPFP for 35 years. He was a fellow in the second class (from 1976-77) and now operates the program alongside co-coordinator Brian Boggs. “The EPFP gives grounding at regional, state and national levels.”
Recently, the program was honored with two special tributes from the state legislature in May 2015. Both—one from the Michigan Senate and another from the Michigan House—were in recognition of the program’s history and the development of effective educational policy leaders. The tributes were signed from representatives and senators from districts across the state.
At the anniversary event, a long-time supporter of the program, Doug Roberts, director of Michigan State University’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research, was honored for his years of service and assistance to the EPFP. Roberts, who served two terms as the Michigan Treasurer, has been a program resource for over 25 years; he received the Institutional for Educational Leadership’s 2015 National Leadership Award in honor of his commitment to the program. Other alumni from the EPFP’s history have also received the award.
The program began in 1975, and former Dean Carole Ames agreed to bring the EPFP into the college in 1995. Many of the EPFP’s alumni continue to call the College of Education home. Some Spartan alumni include Terah Venzant Chambers, associate professor of K-12 educational administration; Terry Flennaugh, assistant professor in the Department of Teacher Education; Todd Drummond, the acting director of the Office of International Studies in Education and Chris Reimann, an academic specialist in the Educational Policy Center, with which the EPFP is affiliated. Alumni—such as Barbara Markle, assistant dean for K-12 Outreach—often recommend fellows to go through the program in following years.
“Increasingly, a large proportion of fellows are being supported by alumni of the program,” Schultz said. “The alumni, and the organizations they are a part of, recognize the value of our program and want to be involved.”
For more information on the Education Policy Fellowship Program, visit their website.