Tuesday May 28, 2013

From the Lab to the Classroom

Fourteen professionals and graduates with backgrounds in science and math begin an intensive one-year program to become teachers.

Thirteen professionals and recent college graduates with backgrounds in science, math and engineering will soon be teaching math and science in high-need local schools as part of an innovative teacher-prep program at the University of Dayton.

The Ohio Board of Regents, the Ohio Department of Education and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation jointly announced the 2013 Woodrow Wilson Ohio Teaching Fellows in an event today at the Ohio Statehouse. These 77 fellows — from cities throughout Ohio — have been accepted into the program at seven Ohio colleges.

The University of Dayton's cohort includes a biology professor, a published astrophysicist and NASA fellow, a gold miner, an insurance and safety professional, a research assistant with multiple sclerosis patients and several tutors, among others.

(For bios on the 13 fellows in the University of Dayton's 2013 cohort, visit the related article)

The program recruits accomplished career changers and outstanding recent college graduates in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (the STEMM fields); transforms the way they are prepared for jobs as teachers; and places them in teaching positions at Ohio's urban and rural schools.

The 2013 fellows are the third class of new teacher candidates to be prepared through the program since the fellowship was launched in Ohio in 2010. They are the second class to attend the University of Dayton. The University's first cohort of 11 teachers graduated earlier this month, and all received offers to teach three years in Dayton-area, high-need schools.

"The success of our first Woodrow Wilson fellows exceeded our initial high expectations, and we are eager to continue this program that aligns with our Catholic, Marianist mission to serve our community and educate for the changing times," said Kevin Kelly, dean of the University of Dayton School of Education and Health Sciences. "The fellows will make a difference in Ohio schools and open new career paths in science, technology, engineering and math for students."

Partner universities have redesigned teacher preparation programs to prepare the fellows in local classrooms, providing an in-depth clinical experience with mentoring and support from the university and teachers in the district. The hands-on training is similar to how physicians learn in hospitals. Programs also emphasize specific teaching approaches for STEMM fields. After a year of intensive preparation alongside teachers in their classrooms, fellows commit to teach for at least three years in a high-need Ohio school.

Each of the 77 fellows in the 2013 class will receive a $30,000 stipend to complete a special intensive master's program at one of the participating institutions. The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation of Princeton, N.J., administers the program.

The new fellows, whose master's work begins June 24, will be ready to teach students in fall 2014.

Since the program’s inception in 2010, 219 fellows have been named in Ohio, having a projected eventual impact on the lives of at least 22,000 students each year.

Ohio launched its Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship in March 2010 at John Carroll University, The Ohio State University, the University of Akron and the University of Cincinnati. In 2011, the University of Dayton, Ohio University and the University of Toledo joined the program. For a factsheet on the Fellowship and a map of participating universities, visit the related link.

"These students represent the best and brightest teachers in Ohio and are reflective of the advances that Ohio is making in the STEMM fields," Board of Regents Chancellor John Carey said. "Their efforts as Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellows will impact not only their own futures but also the futures of thousands of students in our high-need schools."

Ohio launched its Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship in March 2010, joining Indiana and Michigan as host states for the program. In each state, a blend of private and public support has been key to the creation of the program, as have gubernatorial leadership and statewide coalition-building.

The program is made possible with federal Race to the Top funds as well as commitments from six Ohio funders, including The Cleveland Foundation, George Gund Foundation, Martha Holden Jennings Foundation, GAR Foundation, Battelle Memorial Institute and The Battelle Fund at the Columbus Foundation, plus matching funds provided by the campuses. Additional support for the program came from the state’s Choose Ohio First program.

For more information, contact Meagan Pant, assistant director of news and communications, at 937-229-3256 or mpant1@udayton.edu.