Frequently Asked Questions
- General Information
- Application Process
- Master's Program
- University Admission and Support
- Teaching Commitment and Other Obligations
- Program Completion
Q: What is the Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellowship?
A: The Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellowship offers recent graduates and career changers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) a stipend of $30,000 to complete a specially designed, cutting-edge 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 help offset the cost of tuition and living expenses during a full-time year of master's study and to help support Fellows in their preparation for teaching, including in-depth classroom experience, in one of several universities and their Indiana teacher education programs. Fellows attend classes and complete their clinical year as a cohort with other STEM-oriented Teaching Fellows.
Successful Fellows are eligible for teacher certification at the end of the second summer of full-time master's coursework. Once certified teachers, Fellows are able to seek employment in a high need school or school district. University partners, provide mentoring and support throughout the three-year Fellowship period. The Fellowship is administered by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation with the strong support of Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and is funded with a $10 million grant from the Lilly Endowment and a $3 million grant from the Indiana Department of Education.
Q: What makes the Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellowship different from other teacher certification programs?
A: The Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellowship combines several best practices in teacher preparation by bringing together:
- Immediate impact and ongoing support. Fellows teach in schools with high-need student populations as soon as they begin their master's study year. As soon as they begin teaching, Fellows will receive mentoring from their universities and experienced teachers and teacher leaders in their schools or districts.
- Highly selective admission. The Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellowship seeks to increase the quality of teaching candidates, not just the quantity. As a prestigious pathway to teaching for gifted undergraduates and accomplished 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.
- Excellent, paid preparation. The Indiana Teaching Fellowship offers Fellows a $30,000 stipend to pursue a high-quality master's degree in teaching. Ideally, the stipend will allow Fellows to offset the cost of tuition, attendance, and living costs.
- Preparation to hit the ground running in teaching. By the time Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellows enter their own classrooms as full-time teachers of record, they have already been in classrooms for one full year. Fellows are learning, observing and teaching during their year of master's study and, by and large, the hallmark of being a Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellow is the preparation to hit the ground running it offers Fellows.
- A launch pad for a lifetime teaching career. While Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellows make a three-year commitment to teach in high-need schools, we believe that the high-quality preparation and support the Fellowship provides positions Fellows for a sustained and successful career in teaching. The Fellowship is not intended to be a short-term Peace Corps-like experience. Rather, it is designed as a launch pad for teacher development and professional growth that will help shape a new generation of outstanding educators and leaders in Indiana classrooms.
- A new approach to teacher education. The Fellowship is more than a scholarship program. It seeks to transform teacher education while preparing future leaders in the teaching profession. The program provides participating universities with new resources to develop model programs that prepare teachers in math- and science-related fields. While there is not one Woodrow Wilson teacher education model, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation is working with hand-selected universities in a broad range of areas: redesigning curricula to improve teacher preparation; creating clinical classroom experiences in schools to help teacher candidates succeed ; and assessing candidates' performance in the classroom. In the long term, this approach may lead to the adoption of more rigorous teacher education standards nationwide.
Q: Which Indiana institutions are participating? Why were they selected?
A: The Woodrow Wilson Foundation has partnered with four Indiana higher education institutions with high-quality teacher education preparation programs. These universities 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 Ball State University, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Purdue University, and the University of Indianapolis.
Q: Who is eligible for the Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellowship?
A: The Fellowship is open to college seniors, graduates, and 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, 2013, a bachelor's degree from an accredited U.S. college or university;
- have majored in and/or have a strong professional background in a STEM field;
- a cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale is preferred (comparable for applicants from institutions that do not employ a 4.0 GPA scale).
Q: Do I need to have completed my undergraduate education in Indiana?
A: No, but the master's degree must be completed at one of the four Indiana institutions participating in the Fellowship program, and the three-year teaching commitment must be fulfilled at a designated Indiana high need secondary school.
Q: I already have some teaching experience (full-time, substitute, para-professional, private school, etc.). May I apply for the Fellowship?
A: Ideally, Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellows have an undergraduate major in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, or mathematics) discipline or substantial work experience in a STEM-related field, and are seeking a master's degree in STEM education and clinical (classroom) experience in an Indiana public secondary 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 have taken education classes to apply? What academic preparation should I have?
A: The Fellowship program is looking primarily for applicants with an undergraduate major in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, or math) field. Others who may not have majored in a STEM field, but who have significant work experience in one of these fields, are also encouraged to apply. Those applicants with significant credit hours in a STEM-related field are also welcome to apply. These applications will be judged on their merits.
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. In the course of Fellowship selection, we will review all applicants' transcripts to clarify the work each candidate has already completed in STEM fields. Some additional undergraduate courses may be required by a partner institution if a candidate's previous experience does not yet meet the institution's minimum standard for content knowledge in a given area.
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 can use professional accomplishments (for example, awards, professional certifications, service records) to demonstrate their potential. Partner institutions will work individually with candidates to certify that career changers selected as Fellows satisfy the requirements for demonstrated content knowledge.
Q: I am interested in the Fellowship program, but I don't want to teach in Indiana. Do you have programs in other states?
A: The Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellowship requires that recipients teach in Indiana schools. The Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship is currently being offered in Michigan, Ohio, and-coming soon-New Jersey. Other states are expected to launch Woodrow Wilson state teaching fellowship programs in the future.
Q: What is the process for applying? Can I apply online? Do I need to apply separately to each institution in which I might be interested? When will I find out if I am accepted?
A: Applicants will apply to the Woodrow Wilson Foundation for the Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellowship. Applications are currently available on the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship website. Fellows will be selected by late spring 2013, and will begin graduate studies in summer 2013. All applications will be accepted online only, and only through the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. You should not apply separately or submit any supporting documentation to the partner institution(s).
Q: Is there an application fee?
A: Application for the Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellowship is free, and partner institutions have agreed to waive their application fees.
Q: What if I have a transcript from a foreign university/college?
A: Follow these steps to have your foreign transcript evaluated:
- Have your official transcript(s) translated (if necessary) into English.
- Send your transcript(s), course descriptions, and the English translation to a credential evaluation service that is a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services. A fee is required. Be sure to request a "course-by-course/detail" evaluation.
* Foreign transcripts which are already in English, still will require a course-by-course/detail evaluation.
- Have an official copy of the transcript and translation sent to:
Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowships
P.O. Box 5281
Princeton, NJ 08543-5281
Q: Will I need to pay tuition?
A: Yes. Each campus will have its own tuition and financial aid arrangements for Fellows. To find out more, please review the chart of Indiana campus tuitions.
Q: Which schools qualify as high-need?
A: For a list of schools that qualify as high-need, please visit the Annual Directory of Designated Low-Income Schools for Teacher Cancellation Benefits.
The Annual Directory is updated in the fall of each year. For a comprehensive listing of high-need schools, you may check the previous year's directory or periodically check the directory for the latest updates.
Q: When would I receive my Fellowship stipend?
A: Fellows will receive their stipends in two or three equal payments and may select the payment option that works best for them. Fellows will choose the payment schedule once they have been selected and have accepted a Fellowship award.
Q: How many Fellowships will be awarded annually?
A: The Woodrow Wilson Foundation expects to award a total of 60 Fellowships—15 at each of the four participating institutions. In addition, the Foundation will select a number of alternates who may be offered the Fellowship if those originally selected choose to decline for any reason.
A: The Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellowship does not require any tests for admission into the program. All Teaching Fellows must take and pass the Praxis I, administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS), or provide documentation that the requirements of one of the listed alternative assessments are met. Documentation must be provided by accepted Fellows to the enrolling partner university during or before the first semester of coursework.
Praxis I is a pre-professional skills test that is used by most states as a minimum standard for teacher certification and licensure. The test measures very basic skills in reading, writing, and mathematics, but does not require any knowledge of teaching, pedagogy, K-12 education systems, or curriculum standards. Because states require the test for teacher certification and licensure, many schools of education also rely on it when considering admissions to teacher education programs. There is a fee to take Praxis I.
While the master's degree program will include all the necessary coursework for obtaining an Indiana teaching license, licensure candidates must pass the Praxis I exam, or an alternate assessment, and the Praxis II Specialty Area Tests.
Q: Are there alternate assessments to meet the Praxis I requirement?
A: Yes. The following additional assessments/routes are acceptable to document basic skills competency, in lieu of passing the Praxis I exam:
- ACT with a score of at least 24
- SAT with a composite score of at least 1100
- GRE with a composite score of at least 301 (1100 for GRE tests taken prior to August 1, 2011 - see note below)
NOTE: The scoring scale for the GRE has been revised. Scores for this test are no longer reported from 200-800 but now range from 130-170. For any GRE tests taken after August 1, 2011, the new Praxis I GRE alternative combined score requirement is 301. Candidates who receive at least this combined score, based off verbal and quantitative only, are exempt from taking the Praxis I.
- Anyone with a Master's Degree from a regionally accredited institution is exempt (except at Ball State University)
- Praxis 1 composite score of 527
ACT, SAT and GRE scores do not include writing. ACT score includes Math, Reading, Grammar and Science Reading. SAT score reflects Critical Reading and Math. GRE reflects Verbal and Quantitative.
Q: How and where do I take the Praxis I test? Are there other exams I will have to take?
A: The exam is available in both a computer-based version (flexible scheduling at multiple locations) and a paper-based version (available on a set schedule at limited locations). The computer-based version is strongly recommended for applicants to the Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellowship. More information can be found at the Web site of the Educational Testing Service (ETS). In planning to take the Praxis I test, please bear in mind that ETS typically requires at least 30 days to process test results and provide score reports.
Q: Where and when will interviews be conducted?
A: Interviews will be conducted at various sites throughout Indiana during the month of November for early decision candidates and the month of February for regular decision candidates. Applicants selected for an interview will be asked to select the date and location that best works for them. The interview will begin at 9:30 AM and end at 3:30 PM. Applicants selected for an interview who live outside of Indiana will be provided with alternate opportunities to fully participate in the interview process.
Q: What will the interview day look like?
A: The interview day will consist of a one-on-one interview and various activities including a sample teaching lesson.
Q: Is it possible that I could receive a Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellowship but not be admitted to the institution where I am placed?
A: No. The Fellowship application has been aligned with admission requirements.
Q: If I do not receive a Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellowship but would still like to enroll in a teacher preparation program at one of the partner institutions, may I do so?
A: Yes, if that institution admits you. It will likely be necessary for you to take additional steps to apply to that institution. 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 whichever partner institutions you have indicated as your preferences.
Q: If I am not accepted for the Fellowship and choose not to pursue the master's without it, can I apply for the Fellowship again in the following year?
A: Absolutely. We welcome your continued interest.
Q: Am I allowed to work at another job while I am studying for my master's degree? While I am teaching?
A: Fellows have a very demanding coursework and clinical (in school) schedule. It should be clear that the Fellowship program will essentially be the equivalent of a full-time job.
Q: What type of master's degree will I receive?
A: Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellows will receive a master's degree following successful completion of the partner institution's master's degree program. While the four partner institutions are offering degrees with slightly different titles, in all cases Fellows will receive a master's degree and complete all the preparatory requirements necessary in order to take exams for Indiana teaching licensure.
Q: Am I able to choose where I will study for my master's degree?
A: In the application, candidates are asked to indicate, in ranked order, their top three preferences among the four participating universities. Every effort will be made to match a candidate with his or her first-choice institution.
Q: Is there a required program of study?
A: While the program of study varies among the four institutions, each university will offer a master's degree, redesigned in consultation with the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. Each program will encompass a rigorous curriculum coupled with intensive clinical experiences, with the goal of giving Fellows the best possible preparation for advancing student learning in middle- and high-school classrooms and for a successful teaching career.
Q: When will coursework begin?
A: All of the participating universities will begin coursework in late May or June 2013. For further information, please refer to the individual Web pages for each of the four universities.
Q: Will I get teaching experience?
A: Yes. All four master's degree programs will include significant experience in public secondary schools. Both the master's coursework and teaching experience will focus on providing the practical, subject-specific education needed to prepare Fellows to succeed with students in high-need schools.
Q: What exams do I need to take? Are there any costs involved in getting certified?
A: While the master's degree program will include all the necessary coursework for getting an Indiana teaching license, licensure candidates must pass the Praxis I exam (already required for program admission) and the Praxis II Specialty Area Tests. The Indiana Department of Education does charge a small application fee for a first teaching license.
Q: What grades and subjects will I be certified to teach after I receive my degree?
A: The Fellowship focuses on secondary teaching in STEM fields. However, the different campuses emphasize particular subjects and certification areas. Visit the partner institutions' descriptions on the Woodrow Wilson Web site for more details. The type of certification will depend upon which program a Fellow enrolls in and/or which courses s/he takes.
Q: What if I still have specific questions about one or more of the university programs?
A: For any remaining questions, please contact the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowships team for more information. Alternatively, you may also contact the Program Director at the university you would like to attend.
Q: Do I get to choose where I will teach in Indiana?
A: Each university is partnered with several secondary schools in its area:
- The University of Indianapolis and IUPUI partner with the Indianapolis Public Schools and other districts in the immediate Indianapolis vicinity.
- Ball State University partners with the public schools in Anderson and Muncie, Indiana. Beginning in summer 2013, Ball State will also be partnering with schools in the Fort Wayne area.
- Purdue University partners with rural school districts throughout the state of Indiana.
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 (Section VI), which will be taken into consideration when your application is reviewed. However, Fellows must be as open and flexible as possible about future placement.
Q: Will I be on my own once I start teaching?
A: No. From the beginning, Fellows are part of a cohort that will be assisted in securing teaching placements in the same districts at the same time and will continue working together, helping to promote a community of support and learning within and across their schools.
Q: Can I switch schools during my three-year teaching obligation? Or grade levels/subjects?
A: The Fellowship focuses on STEM teaching at the secondary level in high-need schools in Indiana. It is strongly preferred that, if at all possible, a Fellow remains at the site where s/he is originally placed so that s/he will have the full benefit of 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.
Q: How long must I teach to fulfill my commitment to the program?
A: Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellows agree to teach for three years in Indiana 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 in Indiana when they accept the Fellowship.
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 Woodrow Wilson Indiana 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: Can I teach in another state after I complete my three-year commitment?
A: Yes. Once the three-year teaching commitment in Indiana is fulfilled, Fellows may teach anywhere they choose, assuming they meet applicable licensure standards in their new state.
Q: What will be my involvement with the Woodrow Wilson Indiana 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 statewide network of Indiana 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 Indiana Teaching Fellows.
Other questions that are not answered in the information posted on this site can be directed by email to the Woodrow Wilson Foundation or by calling 609-452-7007 ext. 141.