Common questions for WW Teaching Fellowship Applicants
Here are the top 5 questions WW receives from perspective WW TF applicants.
- Will there be a job for me when I graduate?
- How is the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship different from other teacher prep programs?
- I already have school loans. How will I finance this program?
- Am I overqualified or underqualified to be a WW Teaching Fellow?
- What if I can’t gather all supplemental items bu the deadline?
Q: Will there be a job for me when I graduate?
A: There is a great demand for STEM teachers in the states where the WW Teaching Fellowship operates. In 2015, for example, 100% of WW New Jersey Teaching Fellows secured a full-time teaching position immediately following completion of their master’s program. While the Fellowship team won’t place you in a job, we can help you in the job search. Many Fellows choose to apply for a position in the school where they did their clinical placement, where they already know the administration, staff, and students. WW can also can help you connect with school administrators beyond your clinical placement to secure employment.
Q: How is the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship different from other teacher prep programs?
A: A lot of teacher prep programs offer a brief “boot camp” before the new teacher goes into the classroom, or provide a short, traditional student teaching experience for a few weeks. In the WW Teaching Fellowship, you’ll learn from a veteran teacher over the course of a full year—from the day students come back to school in the fall until the grades are handed in at the beginning of the next summer. All of the WW Teaching Fellows come from strong STEM backgrounds, and most have no formal teacher education, so the master’s program focuses on helping you learn to teach the subject in which you’re already an expert.
Here’s another difference: Once you gain full-time employment, even as you’re receiving full salary and benefits from your school district, you’ll still be getting support as a new teacher, with a mentor appointed by the Foundation to coach you. You’ll also be a part of a network of WW Teaching Fellows across the U.S. and, through that network, you’ll be invited to events such as the biennial national convening of WW Teaching Fellows to continue your professional development. Some new Teaching Fellows also have access to microgrants to help them create new classroom projects and travel to conferences in their disciplines.
Q: I already have school loans. How will I finance this program?
A: You’ll receive $30,000 from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation to be used as you need it—for tuition, books, rent, or any living expenses during your first year as a Fellow. After that, for the remaining three years of your commitment (and beyond), you’ll be paid by the school district that hires you. If you have existing loans you may want to talk to your lender about deferring your loans until you complete your master’s program. If you have federal loans you may qualify for income-driven repayment or teacher loan forgiveness.
Q: Am I overqualified or underqualified to be a WW Teaching Fellow?
A: Fellows come from a variety of backgrounds. We have Fellows that enter days after their college graduation, others who have been out of school for a few years but aren’t using their degree in the way they hoped, others who enter after their doctorate or post-doctorate work, and still others who start after they have retired from their first career. Your cohort will be a small group of highly diverse individuals who share the same passion to teach their subject in a high-need school, and you will have the individualized help you need to make the most of your own background.
Q: What if I can’t gather all supplemental items by the deadline?
A: If you are interested in the program but you’re having trouble gathering all of your materials, submit your online application and then contact Betsy Kostendt ([email protected]). We offer a one-week period for remaining supplements to arrive. If you need additional assistance Betsy can work with you.