The Leonore Annenberg Teaching Fellowship
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the Leonore Annenberg Teaching Fellowship?
A: To increase the quantity and strengthen the quality of secondary teachers, the Leonore Annenberg Teaching Fellowship is creating the equivalent of a Rhodes Scholarship for teachers. The Fellowship offers a stipend of $30,000 to complete a 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 an in-depth clinical experience. Once their preparation is complete, Fellows are part of a cohort teaching in high-need schools. The schools, along with university partners, provide mentoring and support throughout the three-year Fellowship period. The Fellowship is administered by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation in close partnership with the participating universities.
Q: Which institutions are participating?
A: The Woodrow Wilson Foundation is partnering with four higher education institutions with high-quality teacher preparation programs. These institutions demonstrated their willingness to put in place bold, innovative approaches that can prepare teachers for a time in which our schools are undergoing dramatic changes. The four institutions are: Stanford University, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Virginia, and the University of Washington.
Q: What is the process for applying?
A: Applicants will apply through one of the partnering institutions. Please visit their individual websites for more information about the application process:
Q: Will I qualify for loan forgiveness as a teacher in a high-need school?
A: The Federal government offers loan forgiveness of up to $17,500 in Federal loans for math, science and special education 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 Leonore Annenberg 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 website.
Q: Is the stipend taxable?
A: Please consult with your tax advisor for further information.
Q: How many Fellowships will be awarded annually?
A: For the first year, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation expects to award a total of 25 Fellowships—between six and eight to each of the four participating institutions.
Q: How long must I teach to fulfill my commitment to the program?
A: Leonore Annenberg Teaching Fellows agree to teach for three years in high-need secondary urban or rural schools, contingent on completing their master’s degree program and attaining their teaching license.
Q: Can I teach for only one or two years?
A: No. Fellows commit to teaching for three years when they accept the Fellowship.
Q: What happens if my teaching placement doesn’t work out, or I drop out of my degree program?
A: Each university has a program coordinator who will oversee the Fellowship and work with Fellows to ensure that they are satisfied with their degree program, that they are progressing well, and that they develop a strong relationship with colleagues in the school at which they student-teach. The partner institution will continue to work with Fellows once they begin teaching full-time, to help them transition to the classroom and address challenges in their work. If a placement is not successful, the university program coordinator will explore with the Fellow other placement possibilities in the area.
Q: What happens at the conclusion of the three-year teaching commitment?
A: While Fellows will be free to choose the future direction of their career, we believe that the high-quality preparation and support the Fellowship provides will position Fellows for a sustained and successful career in teaching. Once selected as Fellows, the Leonore Annenberg 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.
Q: What will be my involvement with the Leonore Annenberg Teaching Fellowship and future Woodrow Wilson Fellows after my commitment is complete?
A: Even after their teaching commitment is complete, Fellows remain part of a network of Leonore Annenberg Teaching Fellows, as well as the larger national network of 20,000 Woodrow Wilson Fellows. 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—and may arrange mentorships with new Leonore Annenberg Teaching Fellows.
Other questions that are not answered in the information posted on this site can be directed by email to Debbie Lynch at the Woodrow Wilson Foundation.