Frequently Asked Questions

 

This set of frequently asked questions and answers is rather long, so it has been divided into clusters.  Please click on the category of information you are interested in.

General Information

 

 

Q: What is the Woodrow Wilson Ohio University Teaching Fellowship?

A: The goal of the Woodrow Wilson Ohio University Teaching Fellowship program is to increase both the number and the quality of middle school and high school mathematics and science teachers for rural Appalachian Ohio. The Woodrow Wilson Ohio University Teaching Fellowship program was first available to students entering graduate programs in the summer of 2012. The fellowship offers recent college graduates and career changers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) a stipend of $30,000 and tuition scholarships to complete a specially designed, cutting-edge master's degree program in exchange for a commitment to teach for three years in high-need middle or secondary rural schools. The program provides fellows with this stipend and up to four semesters of tuition scholarships to support their preparation for teaching, including in-depth in-school clinical teaching. The schools, along with Ohio University and its partners, will provide mentoring and support throughout the three-year residency period of each fellow's initial employment. The fellowship is administered by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation and is funded with the support of the State of Ohio through the offices of the Ohio Board of Regents of Higher Education. Additional support comes from Ohio University, the George Gund Foundation, Cleveland Foundation, Martha Holden Jennings Foundation, GAR Foundation, Battelle Fund at the Columbus Foundation, and Battelle Memorial Institute. Leadership from the governor's office is also a key part of the program.

Q: How many Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship programs are there in Ohio, and where are they located?

A: The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, headquartered at Princeton University, has entered into partnerships with state agencies and universities in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio to develop innovative programs for preparing new teachers of mathematics or science. In the state of Ohio, the universities that have developed teaching fellowship programs with the foundation are John Carroll University, Ohio University, Ohio State University, University of Akron, University of Cincinnati, University of Dayton, and University of Toledo. The information given here is consistent with that of other Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship programs but contains answers that are specific to the program at Ohio University and may not apply to programs at other universities or in other states.

Q: What makes the Woodrow Wilson Ohio University Teaching Fellowship different from other teacher certification programs?

A: The Woodrow Wilson Ohio University Teaching Fellowship combines several best practices in teacher preparation by bringing together the following elements:

  • Excellent, paid teacher preparation. Fellows receive a$30,000 stipend and full tuition scholarship to pursue a high-quality master's degree in teaching.
  • Immediate impact and ongoing support. Fellows teach in middle or high schools with high-need student populations, but with leadership and support from mentors and colleagues. As soon as fellows begin teaching, they receive mentoring from Ohio University faculty, experienced teachers, and teacher leaders in their schools and school districts.
  • Preparation for a successful career in teaching. Woodrow Wilson Ohio University Teaching Fellows make a three-year commitment to teach in high-need schools, and the high-quality preparation and support that they receive will position them well for a sustained and successful career in teaching. The fellowship is not intended to be a short-term Peace Corps–like experience. It is a launch pad for teacher development and professional growth that will help shape a new generation of outstanding educators and teacher leaders in Ohio classrooms.
  • Highly selective admission. The Woodrow Wilson Ohio University Teaching Fellowship seeks to increase the quality of teaching candidates, not just the quantity. As a pathway to teaching for gifted STEM undergraduates and accomplished STEM career changers, the fellowship will bring new talent into teaching, elevate the profession, and provide the preparation and ongoing support needed for success in the classroom.
  • A new approach to teacher education. The fellowship is more than a scholarship program. It seeks to transform teacher education at Ohio University while preparing future leaders in the teaching profession. The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation is working with Ohio University in a broad range of areas, such as redesigning curricula to improve teacher preparation, creating clinical teaching experiences in schools to help teacher candidates succeed with diverse populations, and assessing teacher candidates' performance in the classroom. In the long term, this approach can lead to the adoption of more rigorous teacher education standards for Ohio and the nation.

 

Eligibility

 

 

Q: Who is eligible for the Woodrow Wilson Ohio University Teaching Fellowship?

A: Uniform eligibility requirements apply to all Woodrow Wilson teaching fellowship programs. The fellowship is open to college seniors who will graduate in STEM programs, STEM graduates, and STEM career changers who

  • demonstrate a commitment to the program and its goals;
  • have U.S. citizenship or permanent residency;
  • have attained, or expect to attain by June 30, 2014, a bachelor's degree in a STEM program from an accredited U.S. college or university;
  • have majored in or have a strong professional background in a STEM field;
  • have achieved a cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale (negotiable for applicants from institutions that do not employ a 4.0 GPA scale)

Q: Do I need to have completed my undergraduate education in Ohio?

A:  No. However, the three-year teaching commitment must be fulfilled at a designated high-need middle or high school in Ohio.

Q:  I already have some teaching experience (full-time, substitute, paraprofessional, or private school). May I apply for the fellowship?

A: Ideally, Woodrow Wilson Ohio University Teaching Fellows have an undergraduate major in a STEM discipline or substantial work experience in a STEM-related field and are seeking a master's degree (M.Ed.) in STEM education and clinical teaching experience in an Ohio public school. Prior teaching experience does not exclude a candidate from eligibility. All applications are considered in their entirety, and selection is based on merit.

Q: Do I need to be an education major or to have taken education classes to apply? What academic preparation should I have?

A: The Woodrow Wilson Ohio University Teaching Fellowship program is looking primarily for applicants with an undergraduate major in a STEM field. Others, who may not have majored in a STEM field but who have significant work experience in one of these areas, are also encouraged to apply. All applications will be judged on their merits. This program is not designed for education majors or those who have made substantial progress toward obtaining a teaching license, nor those who already possess an initial teaching license.

Q: If my field is one of the professions that draws heavily on science and math (such as physical therapy or accounting), or perhaps a social science with major STEM components (such as economics), may I apply?

A: You are welcome to apply. Each candidate's transcript is reviewed to evaluate the work that he or she has already completed in the fields of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. Some additional undergraduate courses may be required if a candidate's previous experience does not meet Ohio University's minimum standard for content knowledge in a given area.

If you would like to strengthen your application and more effectively demonstrate your content knowledge, you may choose to take the Praxis II Subject Assessment in your content area and submit these results along with your other supporting documentation.

Q: My college GPA was not 3.0 or better. Can I still apply?

A: Yes. If you feel that your undergraduate GPA does not adequately reflect your capabilities, you may still apply for the Woodrow Wilson Ohio University Teaching Fellowship. One section of the application provides an opportunity for you to describe and clarify any extenuating circumstances and/or speak to ways in which you feel your accomplishments are a better measure of your excellence than your undergraduate GPA.

Q: I graduated from college a few years ago. Can I still apply?

A: Yes, absolutely. Career changers of all ages are welcome to apply and may use professional accomplishments (for example: awards, professional certifications, service records) to demonstrate their potential. Ohio University will work individually with candidates to certify that career changers selected as fellows satisfy their requirements for demonstrated content knowledge.

Q: I am interested in the fellowship program, but I don't want to teach in Ohio. Are there programs in other states?

A: The Woodrow Wilson Ohio University Teaching Fellowship requires recipients to live and teach in Ohio, since one purpose of the program is to increase the number of high-quality middle and secondary school teachers of mathematics and science in the state. Similar Woodrow Wilson programs are currently available in Indiana and Michigan. Other states are expected to launch Woodrow Wilson teaching fellowship programs in the future.

There is also a national version of the program, the Leonore Annenberg Teaching Fellowship, whose candidates apply directly to the schools of education at the participating institutions. To obtain further information and application details, please contact the Annenberg fellowship's partner institutions—Stanford University and the universities of Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington.

 

Application Process

 

 

Q: What is the process for applying? Can I apply online? When will I find out if I am accepted?

A: Candidates will apply to the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation as the single point of contact for all fellowship programs. Applications are available on the foundation's website. Applications will be accepted only online and only through the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, http://www.woodrow.org/ohio.

Q: Is there an application fee?

A: Application for the Woodrow Wilson Ohio University Teaching Fellowship is free, as it is for the programs at other partner universities.

Q: What are my odds? How many applications does the Woodrow Wilson Ohio University Teaching Fellowship receive each year?

A: The Woodrow Wilson Ohio University Teaching Fellowship program is selective and the process is competitive. All qualified candidates are given serious consideration. Because the fellowship offers a paid pathway to teaching with excellent teacher preparation and support, strong interest is anticipated in this highly selective program. Applications from all qualified applicants are welcomed and encouraged. The program directors are open to conversations prior to applying via phone, email or campus visits.

Q: What is the application process?

A: All potential candidates will complete the online application, which was crafted in collaboration with Ohio's seven partner universities. In addition to the online application, applicants will provide three letters of recommendation, a resume, and transcripts from all institutions attended. Candidates who are selected as finalists will also have an interview with a team of Woodrow Wilson selectors who are veteran teachers and teacher leaders.

Q: Where and when will interviews be conducted?

A: Interviews will be conducted at various sites throughout Ohio in fall and winter 2013-2014. Ohio University hosts on-site interviews in November and February as may be requested by the Foundation. The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation organizes and conducts the interviews independent of Ohio University.

Applicants selected for an interview will be asked to choose the date and location that best works for them. The process of interviewing typically lasts one-half day. Applicants selected for an interview who live outside of Ohio will be provided with alternate opportunities by the Foundation to fully participate in the interview process.

Q: What will the interview day look like?

A: Applicants selected for an interview become candidates for a fellowship and should come prepared to spend the afternoon with the Woodrow Wilson interview team. Following an explanation of the day's schedule, candidates will meet in small groups where each will present ("teach") a brief sample lesson. This lesson may be on any subject but should not be more than five minutes in length. A white board, chalk board, or chart paper will be available. Candidates may bring additional materials appropriate for the sample lesson. Candidates are not expected to know how to teach, but should use this as an opportunity to demonstrate their potential.

Following the sample lesson, each candidate will participate in a 30-minute one-on-one interview with a Woodrow Wilson selector. While candidates are waiting for their interview, or after they complete their interview, they will have 30 minutes to complete a short writing assignment. No advanced preparation is required for this part of the interview process.

The day will close with a whole group question and answer period where candidates are free to ask any additional questions about the program not previously addressed.

Q: Is it possible that I could receive a Woodrow Wilson Ohio University Teaching Fellowship but not be admitted to Ohio University?

A: No. The Woodrow Wilson Ohio University Teaching Fellowship application is aligned with university graduate admission requirements. However, program leaders and faculty at Ohio University will be selective in choosing from the applicant pool those who seem to be a best fit for the goals of the program and its rural small school emphasis.

Q: If I do not receive an offer of a teaching fellowship but still would like to enroll in a teacher preparation program at Ohio University or one of the other six partner institutions in Ohio, may I do so?

A: Yes. If the Woodrow Wilson Ohio University Teaching Fellowship program does not admit you, it will likely be necessary for you to take additional steps to apply to a specific teacher preparation program at Ohio University or any of the other six Woodrow Wilson partner universities in the state. It is also possible that you will be invited to apply by one or more of the partner institutions, as your application will have been shared with all of your preferred partner institutions.

Q:If I am not accepted and choose not to pursue the master's without a fellowship, can I apply for the Woodrow Wilson Ohio University Teaching Fellowship again in the following year?

A:Absolutely. The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation and Ohio University welcome your continued interest.

Q:Am I permitted to work at another job while I am studying for my master's degree? While I am teaching?

A:The fellowship program is essentially the equivalent of a full-time job. It is an accelerated and rigorous year-long program with summer classes, and academic year evening classes with days spent in school classrooms. While the fellowship should be a student's primary commitment, he or she may hold additional employment, following consultation with the on-campus program director. Any employment should be planned around the teaching fellowship curriculum so it will not conflict with classes and clinical teaching preparation.

 

Cost of Attendance

 

 

Q: Will I need to pay tuition?

A: No. Ohio University provides a full tuition scholarship for its fellows, who are responsible for paying only the applicable student fees as well as health insurance premiums and expenses for books and transportation to schools.

Q: What does it cost to attend the program at Ohio University?

A:  Costs are set each spring by the board of trustees for the following academic year.

At this posting, the combined student and technology fees are currently $524 per semester for the 2013-2014 academic year. Based on current fees, the total cost of these fees is either $1572 (3 semesters) or $2096 (four semesters) depending upon the program of study. These costs may change after the board of trustees meets this spring.

The fees given above  do not include the cost of consumables and personal choice items such as books, materials, supplies, health insurance, and so on. Information about health insurance may be found here: http://www.ohio.edu/finance/bursar/studenthealth.cfm.

Q: Is the $30,000 stipend taxable?

A: Grant amounts are taxable income to the extent that the aggregate scholarship or fellowship amounts exceed tuition and required fees (not including room and board), books, supplies, and equipment required for courses of instruction. We recommend that you consult your tax advisor for further information.

Q: Will the foundation issue a 1099 or W-2?

A: No.

Q: When would I receive my fellowship stipend?

A: Stipends are paid directly to the Woodrow Wilson Ohio University Teaching Fellows, who will receive payments from the university bursar each semester, a total of 3 - $10,000 payments.

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 some eligible math and science teachers who (1) meet the criteria for highly qualified teacher status, (2) teach for five consecutive years, and (3) teach all five years in a low-income school. As a Woodrow Wilson Ohio University Teaching Fellow, you will meet the criteria of being a highly qualified teacher in a low-income public school; however, not all fellows are eligible for this loan forgiveness. For more information, please visit the federal student aid website.

Q: Which schools qualify as high-need?

A: For a list of schools that qualify as high-need, please see the Annual Directory of Designated Low-Income Schools for Teacher Cancellation Benefits (https://www.tcli.ed.gov/CBSWebApp/tcli/),which is updated in the fall of each year. For a comprehensive listing of high-need secondary schools, you may check the previous year's directory or periodically check the directory for the latest updates.

 

Ohio University Academic Calendar

The calendar for Ohio University's Woodrow Wilson Fellowship program will be linked with Ohio University's academic calendar and the school calendars where the fellows are placed for their clinical experience. Below is a summary of Ohio University's tentative academic calendar for 2014-2015.

Summer 2014

Summer Session Opening Date – May 12

WWF orientation and classes begin June 3

Independence Day holiday – July 4

Summer Session Closing Date – August 16, 2013

Fall Semester 2014 - 2015

Fall Quarter Opening – August 25

Holiday– November 11

Thanksgiving Break – November 26 - 28

Last Day of Classes – December 6

Examination Period – December 8 – 12

Spring Semester 2014 - 2015

Spring Semester Opening – January 12

Martin Luther King Day – January 19

Spring Break – March 1 – 7

Last Day of Classes – April 25

Examination Period – April 27 – May 1

Summer Session 2015

Opening- May 11, 2015

Memorial Day – May 25, 2015

Summer Session I Closing – June 27, 2015

Summer Session II Closing – August 15, 2015

 


 

 

 

Master's Program

 

 

Q: What type of master's degree will I receive?

A: Woodrow Wilson Ohio University Teaching Fellows will receive a master's degree in education (M.Ed.) following successful completion of all program requirements. The program is designed to prepare candidates for the practical and performance examinations required for an Ohio teaching license.

Q: Is there a required program of study?

A: Yes. The graduate-level teacher preparation program at Ohio University has been redesigned in consultation with the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. The program encompasses a rigorous curriculum coupled with intensive clinical teaching experiences, with the goal of giving fellows the best possible preparation for advancing student learning in middle and secondary school classrooms and for a successful teaching career.

Q: When will coursework begin?

A: Coursework in the Woodrow Wilson Ohio University Teaching Fellowship will begin in June 2014.

Q: Will I get teaching experience?

A: Yes. Called a "year-long clinical," the program at Ohio University includes significant experience in public school classrooms, from the beginning to the end of the school year. Both the master's coursework and the clinical teaching experience will focus on practical, subject-specific education needed to prepare Woodrow Wilson Ohio University Teaching Fellows to succeed in high-need schools, with a focus on rural students.

Q:What exams do I need to take? Are there any costs involved in obtaining a teaching license?

A: The Woodrow Wilson Ohio University Teaching Fellowship does not require any tests for acceptance into the program.

All fellows must pass tests required by the state of Ohio to qualify for a teaching license. As of August 2013 the Ohio Department of Education is transitioning its testing requirements from PRAXIS to Ohio Educator Assessments. At present a combination of both exams may be required for a specific license. Use this link to discern which tests may apply to you: Ohio Educator Tests. All tests have costs associated with them. Costs and testing dates may be found using the website.

You are encouraged to complete the subject assessment in your discipline before applying for the fellowship if you wish to have the score included as evidence of qualification for the program.

The subject assessments measure knowledge of specific concepts that educators will teach, as well as general and subject-specific teaching skills and knowledge.

Q: What grades and subjects will I be licensed to teach after I receive my degree?

A: The Woodrow Wilson Ohio University Teaching Fellowship focuses on middle and secondary teaching in science and mathematics. The type of teaching license earned will depend upon which program a teaching fellow enrolls in and which courses he or she takes. Programs include middle school mathematics and science for grades 4–9 and adolescent to young adult integrated mathematics, life science, physical science, chemistry, and physics for grades7–12. It may be possible to earn a dual-level or dual-subject license.

 

School Placement and Support

 

 

Q: Do I get to choose where I will teach in Ohio?

A: In the application, candidates can rank in their order of preference their top choices among the seven participating universities in Ohio. This directly affects where fellows will teach, since each university is partnered with several secondary school districts in its area.

Q: Which school districts have partnered with Ohio University?

A: Ohio University has partnered with rural southeast Ohio schools that are members of the Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools (CORAS).

Q: What about special circumstances that may limit how far I can travel to complete the master's degree or where I can be placed for my teaching assignment?

A: The application contains a section to note extenuating circumstances, which will be taken into consideration when your application is reviewed. However, teaching fellows are urged to remain open and flexible about future student teaching placements.

Q: Will I be on my own once I start teaching?

A: No. From the beginning, Woodrow Wilson Ohio University Teaching Fellows will receive assistance in securing clinical and student teaching placements and will work together as a cohort to promote a community of support and learning within and across their schools and school districts.

Q: Can I switch schools during my three-year teaching obligation? Or switch grade levels or subjects?

A:The Woodrow Wilson Ohio University Teaching Fellowship focuses on teaching mathematics and science at the middle or secondary level in high-need rural schools in Ohio. It is strongly preferred that each fellow remain at the site where he or she is originally hired so as to receive the full and consistent benefits from mentoring. It is possible that a fellow who transfers to another teaching assignment may lose some or all of the mentoring benefit, as well as some of the ongoing university services.

 

Teaching Commitment and Other Obligations

 

 

Q: How long must I teach to fulfill my commitment to the program?

A: Woodrow Wilson Ohio University Teaching Fellows agree to teach for three years in high-need public schools in Ohio, contingent on completing their master's degree program and teacher licensing. This agreement includes participation in a mentoring program and replies to all required follow-up surveys and/or program evaluation efforts.

Q: Can I teach for only one or two years?

A: No. Woodrow Wilson Ohio University Teaching Fellows commit to teaching for three years in Ohio when they accept the fellowship. Lesser fulfillment of the commitment may result in pro-rated pay-back of the $30,000 stipend.

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 director who will oversee the teaching fellowship and work with fellows to ensure that they are satisfied with their master's 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 after they begin teaching full-time, to help them transition to the classroom and address challenges in their work. If a teaching placement is not successful, the university program director will explore with the fellow other teaching possibilities in the area.

 

Contact Information

 

For more information and resources, please visit http//:www.woodrow.org/ohio. Other questions that are not answered in the information posted on this page can be directed by e-mail to the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation or by calling 609-452-7007 ext. 141.

For more information about the Ohio University program, please contact The Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education located in McCracken Hall at Ohio UniversityAthens, OH 45701 General phone: 740-593-4400 Fax: 740-593-9310 or contact the Woodrow Wilson Ohio University Teaching Fellows program directors:

Ralph Martin, Ph.D. martin@ohio.edu

Jeff Connor, Ph.D.           connorj@ohio.edu

Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation