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New Jersey
December 07, 2013
STEM Focused, Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship to Be Launched in New Jersey

Gov. Christie Announces Program to Recruit STEM Teachers and Change Teacher Prep in NJ

Governor Chris Christie announced today that New Jersey will become the first East Coast state to launch the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship, with nearly $9 million in support from a consortium of foundations and private funders.

Created by the Princeton-based Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, the Fellowship recruits top science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) college graduates and career changers and prepares them to teach in high-need schools. The program ultimately seeks to transform the way teacher candidates are prepared.

"Excellence in education begins in the classroom," said Governor Chris Christie. "Today, we are taking another important step to ensure our teachers are prepared before they are placed in high-need schools. It only makes sense that we give our teachers the experience and the tools they need before they are placed in challenging environments. Thanks to the Woodrow Wilson Foundation and our five New Jersey higher education institutions participating in this program, teachers will be ready to make a difference in struggling districts where their help is needed most."

Five New Jersey institutions—The College of New Jersey, Montclair State University, Rowan University, Rutgers University-Camden, and William Paterson University—will participate, developing model master's-level teacher preparation programs. Fellows will go through a rigorous one-year program in local school classrooms, a clinically based approach similar to that of medical schools.

Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellows receive $30,000 stipends to use during the master's program. In exchange, they commit to teach in a high-need urban or rural school in New Jersey for three years, with ongoing mentoring.

"Study after study shows that teachers are the single most important in-school factor in improving student achievement," said Arthur Levine, president of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. "That's the overarching goal for these Woodrow Wilson New Jersey Teaching Fellows. New Jersey overproduces elementary school teachers but underproduces middle- and high-school STEM teachers, and 30 to 40 percent of New Jersey teachers leave the profession during their first three years in the classroom—more in high-need districts. So there's a genuine need for these new teachers, and for innovative preparation that will help keep them in the classroom."

Twelve New Jersey school districts will partner with the state's participating universities to provide clinical experience for the Teaching Fellows—a full academic year in a high-need, high-functioning school, where Fellows will learn onsite the way residents in a teaching hospital do. The 12 districts include Trenton, Ewing, Lawrence, and New Brunswick, working with TCNJ; Newark and Orange, working with Montclair State; Paterson, working with William Paterson University; and Camden, Pemberton, and several rural districts, working jointly with Rowan and Rutgers-Camden.

See link to full article below.
Woodrow Wilson News & Publications Announcement
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