Teaching fellowships worth $16.7 million

Eastern Michigan University is one of six Michigan universities selected to participate in the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Woodrow Wilson Michigan Teaching Fellowship.

The program, funded by a $16.7 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, will further training for 240 teachers.

The other participants were Michigan State, Western Michigan, Grand Valley, Wayne State, and the University of Michigan.

University presidents from all six schools held a conference with Governor Granholm on Thursday and President Susan Martin said the conference was held to release the good news.

According to Martin, the scholarship will be very competitive but a wide variety of people can apply.

“The Woodrow Wilson Scholarship will provide a master’s degree level for teachers or someone that’s retooling or changing careers,” Martin said. “They can apply for the Woodrow Wilson and then they can apply to Eastern for admission.”

The program will focus on training teachers in special areas.

“They will get an opportunity for an education with a master’s degree in the STEM discipline, which is math and science,” Martin said. “After that, they’ll go to work in the Detroit Public Schools and they will receive mentoring for three years.”

According to Martin, the program emphasizes the importance of gaining students’ interest in STEM areas.

“You need special mentoring and support to be successful to keep the students engaged and to keep them in school so that they realize they can go to college and receive a degree in science in math,” she said.

There are a number of reasons to be excited about the program, said Martin.

“The other exciting thing about this program is that we know we need more students to study in the STEM disciplines,” Martin said.

“So part of the benefit of this program is that we will be training teachers to make that interesting and exciting subjects so that students of younger ages consider those career paths which are going to be many of those jobs in the future” she said.

According to Martin, students across the country need to become more engaged in STEM areas. “We desperately need that in Michigan and in this country to have more students study those subjects,” she said.

Martin believes EMU students will be ready to participate in the program.

“Eastern produces one out of four teachers in Michigan and one percent across the country,” Martin said. “Certainly we have a strong history and tradition for 160 years of preparing excellent teachers. So we’re a natural to be selected.”

The program is still in the planning stages and applications will not be available until the summer of 2010.

The first group of fellows will not begin their studies until the summer of 2011.

Interviews will be conducted by EMU faculty members and individuals from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation.

More information about the fellowship can be found at www.Woodrow.org.

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