Valpo Joins Teaching Fellows Program

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Valparaiso University is the latest school in the state to participate in the Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellows initiative. Students accepted into the program receive $30,000 toward a master's program and spend a year teaching in a high-need rural or urban school. September 4, 2013

News Release

VALPARAISO, Ind. - The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation of Princeton, N.J. announced today that Valparaiso University has joined its Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellowship program.

The Fellowship recruits accomplished recent graduates and career changers in science, mathematics, engineering and technology (the STEM fields) who will teach math and science in Indiana's urban and rural schools. It also aims to change the way teachers are prepared, focusing on a full academic year of clinical experience in real-world classrooms. After their year of master's-degree coursework and clinical preparation, Fellows commit to teach for at least three years in a high-need Indiana school, with ongoing support and mentoring.

"We are delighted that Valpo can participate in this program," said Mark A. Heckler, Ph.D., president of Valparaiso University. "The Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellowship represents a powerful opportunity both to build on our commitment to serving the community, by preparing outstanding new teachers and to lift up some of our most innovative and important efforts in graduate education."

Applications are open now for Valpo's first class of Fellows, who will begin their master's work in summer 2014, doing their year of practical preparation in secondary schools in Gary, Portage, Michigan City and East Chicago. Details of the program are available online at the Woodrow Wilson website and the Valpo website.

"The Woodrow Wilson Foundation is proud to have Valparaiso join the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship program," said Arthur Levine, the Foundation's president. "We've wanted the University as a partner for a long time now, and we are delighted to be able to work with students, schools and school leaders in Northwest Indiana. These Fellows tend to be extraordinary people, and we are confident that Valpo is going to provide them with excellent preparation for the classrooms that need them most."

Launched in Indiana in 2007, the Fellowship provides each Fellow a $30,000 stipend to complete the specially designed intensive program at a participating university. Partner universities - which in Indiana also include Ball State University, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Purdue University and the University of Indianapolis - agree to rework their teacher preparation around the yearlong experience in local classrooms.

Five classes of WW Indiana Teaching Fellows have been named since 2009, representing 256 new teacher candidates for Indiana. Members of the first four classes are now teaching around the state, with those named in May 2013 currently beginning their master's programs. One hundred percent of the Fellows certified to date have been placed, with a retention rate of 90 percent in the third year of the program - as compared with a 50 percent to 65 percent national retention rate for teachers in their first three years in the profession.

Since originating in Indiana, the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship has been established in three other states - Ohio, Michigan and New Jersey. Funded with grants from Lilly Endowment Inc. and supplemental state support, the Fellowship has received endorsements from two gubernatorial administrations and is administered by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation.

About Valparaiso University

Valparaiso University is a comprehensive independent Lutheran university with more than 4,000 students on its campus located in Northwest Indiana, an hour from Chicago. Valpo is a community of purpose-driven, service-minded and ethical individuals who embrace the pursuit of truth with freedom, humility and compassion. Valpo has been identified as one of the top master's-level institutions in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report magazine for the past 22 years. Valparaiso University offers more than 110 undergraduate academic programs through the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Engineering and Nursing. Valpo also has a distinguished honors college, a Law School, and more than 40 degree and certificate programs in its Graduate School and Continuing Studies. Valpo has been recognized for its commitment to outstanding teaching, preparing thoughtful leaders with strong cross-cultural skills and global awareness and dedication to serving others.

About the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation

Founded in 1945, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation (www.woodrow.org) identifies and develops leaders and institutions to meet the nation's critical challenges.

Source: Valparaiso University