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Woodrow Wilson Georgia Teaching Fellowships


About the Woodrow Wilson Georgia Teaching Fellowships

The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation traces its roots back to 1945, when professors at Princeton University realized that the U.S. would need qualified science professors to teach the large number of former soldiers who entered college through the GI Bill after World War II. Since then, the Foundation, named for Princeton and U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, has changed the emphasis of its fellowship program as educational needs have changed.

After Sputnik in 1957, the U.S. began investing a record amount of money in science and technology instruction, but that amount has decreased dramatically. In the 1990s, almost 30 percent of the nation's top high school students majored in the sciences, compared to fewer than 16 percent today, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Compounding the problem, more than 60 percent of high school students taking chemistry, physics, and space science classes are taught by teachers with no certification in those fields.

The Woodrow Wilson Foundation seeks to reverse these trends by attracting talented, committed individuals with backgrounds in the STEM fields into teaching in high-need secondary schools. According to its mission statement, since its inception, the foundation has supported the development of more than 21,000 leaders—teachers and scholars, leaders and business people, artists and innovators. To date, "they include 14 Nobel Laureates, 35 MacArthur Fellows, 14 Pulitzer Prize winners, and hundreds of other distinguished individuals—as well as everyday classroom heroes."

The goals of the Woodrow Wilson Georgia Teaching Fellowships are to:

• attract the very best candidates to teaching;

• put strong teachers into high‐need schools;

• cut teacher attrition and retain top teachers; and

• create model programs to transform teacher preparation in and beyond STEM education.

The Fellowships recruit teachers—both recent college graduates and career changers—with strong backgrounds in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Each WW Georgia Teaching Fellow receives a $30,000 Fellowship to complete a specially designed, cutting-edge master's degree program, as preparation to teach in Georgia's high-need urban or rural secondary schools.

The first Woodrow Wilson Georgia Teaching Fellows will start their academic programs in summer 2015. Recruitment of Fellows begins in spring 2014. Fellows commit to teach in a high-need school for three years in the State of Georgia, with ongoing mentoring. Universities agree to redesign their teacher education programs to create model 21st-century teacher preparation.