FAQ for Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellowship Program at BSU

General Information

Q: What is the Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellowship Program?
A:
This program is intended to help overhaul teacher education and encourage exceptional teacher candidates to seek long-term careers in high-need classrooms. The Fellowship offers recent graduates and career changers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (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 schools. The program provides Fellows with this stipend to support their preparation for teaching, including in-depth clinical experience. Once their preparation is complete, Fellows will continue to receive mentoring and support throughout the three-year teaching requirement. The Fellowship is administered by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.

Eligibility

Q: Who is eligible for the Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellowship at Ball State University?
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, 2014, a bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. college or university;
• have majored in and/or have a strong professional background in mathematics, physics, or physical science;
• 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); and
• obtain a qualifying score on the Praxis I: Pre-Professional Skills Test, and submit a score report on or before March 15, 2012, or qualify for Praxis I alternatives.

Application Process

Q: What is the process for applying?
A:
Applicants interested in the program at Ball State University will apply directly to the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. There are four selection rounds, with decisions being made in December and early April. Fellows will begin graduate studies in summer 2014. 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 Ball State University.

Q: What is the deadline for applying?
A: For the 2014 Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowships, applicants can submit their applications by one of three deadlines: October 15, 2013 (first application deadline), December 2, 2013 (second application deadline), OR January 31, 2014 (final application deadline).

Q: Is there an application fee?
A:
Application for the Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellowship is free and Ball State has agreed to waive the application fee to the Graduate School.

Q: When would I receive my Fellowship stipend?
A:
The $30,000 fellowship stipend is a direct payment to you that can be used toward tuition and living expenses. Fellows will receive their stipends in two or three equal payments and may select the payment option that works best for them. For example, a Fellow may choose to receive a payment of $15,000 at the start of the first semester of coursework, upon confirmation from the partner university that the Fellow has registered, and the second payment of $15,000 at the start of the second semester. Fellows will choose the payment schedule once they have been selected and have accepted a Fellowship award. The stipend is paid directly to the Fellow.

Q: Do Fellows pay tuition?
A:
Yes. Indiana resident Fellows pay the in-state tuition rate for full-time graduate students, while out-of-state Fellows pay 150% of the in-state rate. Final cost for 2014-2015 will not be confirmed until the Board of Trustees approves the fees in late spring or early summer of 2014. For more information, see the Bursar's website.

Coursework at Ball State University

Q: What type of degree will I receive?
A:
At the successful completion of the program, Fellows will receive a Master of Arts in Secondary Education and Secondary School Licensure to teach Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, or Life Science.

Q: When will coursework begin?
A:
The program consists of a summer semester on the Ball State campus, followed by a full academic year at a partner high school in Anderson or Muncie along with course work on the BSU campus. Orientation for Fellows begins May 22, 2014, and includes meeting the faculty, learning to navigate the campus, taking of common assessment instruments, as well as several social events designed as first steps in the building of community among the Fellows. Instruction begins Tuesday, May 27, 2014. Fellows and faculty will work together on the Ball State campus for the summer semester, which concludes on Friday, July 25. Fellows will then begin their clinical experiences in early August on the first day that teachers report for the start of the 2014-2015 school year. Fellows will receive instruction and complete classroom-based observations, teaching, and other assignments.

Q: Will I get teaching experience?
A:
Yes. The program will include significant experience in a public secondary school. 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 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 or qualify for the Praxis I alternative.

Q: Where will I teach during the year that I am working on my master’s degree and teaching license?
A:
The schools partnering with Ball State University are Anderson High School, Highland Junior High School (Anderson), Muncie Central High School, and Muncie Southside High School.

Teaching Commitment and Other Obligations

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: What happens if my teaching placement doesn’t work out?
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.

Program Completion

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.