|From left, Piedmont Trustee Martha Cantrell, President James
Mellichamp, Gov. Nathan Deal, Woodrow Wilson Foundation
President Arthur Levine, Vice President for Academic Affairs
Perry Rettig, and Senior Fellow in Education Patricia McCollum
following the March 3 announcement of the new Georgia
Teaching Fellowship program.
Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation selects Piedmont for Georgia Teaching Fellowships
Piedmont College has been selected by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation in Princeton, N.J., as one of five Georgia colleges to participate in a program designed to help attract the nation's very best science, technology, engineering and math candidates to the teaching profession.
The Woodrow Wilson Foundation will provide stipends to "the best and brightest recent graduates and career changers" with backgrounds in what are called the STEM fields—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—who wish to change careers to become middle and high school science and math teachers in high-need areas.
"This program will have an enormous impact on STEM education not just in Georgia but across the Southeast," said Piedmont President Dr. James Mellichamp. "Right now, the STEM fellowship program is only offered in four other states, and their experience has been that scientists and technologists from around the country have come to their locations to enroll."
Georgia is just the fifth state selected by the foundation to participate in the program, after Michigan, Indiana, New Jersey, and Ohio. Fellows accepted into the program will earn a master's degree with certification in one of the STEM areas and receive a year of intensive in-school teacher preparation. The participating colleges will also support and mentor the new teachers throughout their three-year teaching commitment in a high-needs school.
Dr. Don Gnecco, Dean of the School of Education, said one reason Piedmont was selected was because of its long history of conducting master's and specialist programs in education. "We also have a great working relationship with school systems across the state because of our existing off-campus graduate education programs," Gnecco said. "That will help us place the Wilson Fellows in schools that can best benefit from the particular expertise that they bring to the classroom."
The first Woodrow Wilson Fellows will enroll at Piedmont as early as summer of 2015, said Dr. Perry Rettig, Vice President for Academic Affairs. "We will be announcing additional details of the program as soon as they become available."