2015 Class of Woodrow Wilson MBA Fellows in Education Leadership Unveiled in Wisconsin

FOR RELEASE: Thursday, May 21, 2015

Patrick Riccards | Director of Media Relations & Strategy | (703) 298‐8283 (press only) 
JoEllen Burdue | Director of Media Relations, Milwaukee School of Engineering | (414) 277-7117

Wisconsin, Woodrow Wilson Foundation Continue Groundbreaking Effort to Prepare Next Generation of School Leaders For State
As Woodrow Wilson MBA Fellows in Education Leadership Begin Classes

New Class of MBA Fellows in Education Leadership Unveiled;
Leading Educators to Begin Program at Milwaukee School of Engineering this Summer

MADISON, WI (May 21, 2015) – Wisconsin’s second class of Woodrow Wilson MBA Fellows in Education Leadership were announced today at the State Capitol, as the state continues to set new national standards in the preparation and placement of educational leaders equipped to head changing 21st century schools.

Launched last year, the Woodrow Wilson (WW) Wisconsin MBA Fellowship program charts a new course in education leader preparation, blending clinical practice in schools with innovative business school coursework to ensure graduates have the knowledge, skills, and character not only to guide schools and districts in a changing education environment, but also to close achievement gaps between America’s lowest- and highest-performing schools and between the country’s top-performing schools and those around the world.

Wisconsin was one of the first two states to launch the WW MBA Fellowships. The Woodrow Wilson Foundation is partnering with Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) on the initiative, which provides school leaders with a blend of graduate coursework and a tailored MBA curriculum.

“Through the Woodrow Wilson MBA Fellowship, Wisconsin is drawing on the most innovative thinking in leader preparation today,” said Arthur Levine, president of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation and author of an influential national study that called for dramatically changing how the United States prepares school leaders. “Because of the efforts at MSOE and the hard work and commitment of educators across the state, Wisconsin is readying strong school leaders with the knowledge, experience, support, and character needed to ensure the very best for our kids. The success here in Wisconsin is part of a new national movement to dramatically improve how we prepare educators, recognizing that the failed ways of the past will no longer be accepted.”

This year’s class of WW MBA Fellows at MSOE come from:

  • Brillion High School
  • Carmen School of Science and Technology
  • Donges Bay Elementary School
  • Green Lake School
  • HOPE Christian School
  • Kiel High School
  • Milwaukee Collegiate Academy
  • Nativity Jesuit Academy
  • Parkview High School
  • Reagan High School
  • Star of Bethlehem School
  • Whitman Middle School
  • Wisconsin Hills Middle School

The Woodrow Wilson MBA Fellowship in Education Leadership recruits and prepares experienced educators who will take a full year of executive-style MBA courses. The program is offered through MSOE’s Rader School of Business and is equivalent in rigor to traditional MBA programs. It is designed to prepare leaders who will create school cultures to drive innovation, expand the use of analytics and evidence-based practices, raise student performance to international levels, foster citizens of good character, and improve the quality of school systems and teaching over time. Wisconsin and Indiana were the first two states to embrace this new approach to school leadership, with New Mexico joining this year. Each Fellow was selected from a highly competitive pool of nominees.

Unlike programs that recruit career changers from other fields to work in schools, the WW MBA Fellowship requires that candidates be current educators who are nominated by Wisconsin school districts, as well as choice and charter schools. Fellows were selected based on key characteristics of effective leaders and will be experienced with the culture of schools to be able to help transform them from within. Each receives a $50,000 stipend that includes tuition assistance for the master’s program, along with executive coaching. In exchange, Fellows will serve in leadership roles in identified districts/schools for at least three years.

MSOE is partnering with 10 to 12 area school districts to develop partnerships that will sustain clinical placements (in-school learning arrangements) and mentoring opportunities for the WW MBA Fellows.

“Since its founding in 1903, MSOE has maintained strong relationships with business and industry, giving our students real-world experience in the fields before they graduate. The same is true for the WW MBA Fellows,” said Dr. Hermann Viets, MSOE president. “At MSOE, we continually raise the bar in education standards and prepare our students to be leaders.”

The Woodrow Wilson Foundation, MSOE, and Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, honored the 2015–16 class of Wisconsin Woodrow Wilson MBA Fellows at an event at the State Capitol this morning.

“The education leaders participating in this program are proving once again that Wisconsin continues to lead the nation in education reform,” Lieutenant Gov. Kleefisch said. “These Fellows will draw on best practices from the business world and the classroom to serve their school districts’ children and taxpayers with innovation and excellence.”

The WW MBA Fellowship in Education Leadership draws on the Foundation’s experience with its state-based Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship, which works to transform teacher education and recruit excellent candidates to teach math and science in high-need schools. The Teaching Fellowship is now operating in five states in partnership with 28 universities.

Visit http://woodrow.org/fellowships/ww-ed-mba/wisconsin/ to learn more about the Foundation’s work in leadership preparation in Wisconsin. To learn more about the program at MSOE visit www.msoe.edu/mbaeducationleadership


About the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation

Founded in 1945, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation (www.woodrow.org) identifies and develops the nation’s best minds to meet its most critical challenges. The Foundation supports its Fellows as the next generation of leaders shaping American society.

About Milwaukee School of Engineering

Milwaukee School of Engineering (www.msoe.edu) is an independent, non-profit university with about 2,800 students that was founded in 1903. MSOE offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering, business, mathematics and nursing. The university has a national academic reputation; longstanding ties to business and industry; dedicated professors with real-world experience; a 96% placement rate; and the highest ROI, average starting and mid-career salaries of any Wisconsin university according to PayScale Inc. MSOE graduates are well-rounded, technologically experienced and highly productive professionals and leaders.


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