by Debra Johnson, Published July 15, 2013
YPSILANTI - An electrician, an airline pilot and an electrical engineer are among seven Fellows who will attend Eastern Michigan University this fall as part of the highly competitive W.K. Kellogg Woodrow Wilson Michigan Teaching Fellowship.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has named 51 Michigan Teaching Fellows, who will each receive $30,000 to complete a specially designed, master's degree program as preparation to teach in high-need schools. In return, Fellows commit to teach for three years in Michigan's high-need urban and rural secondary schools.
The Fellows will complete their clinical work and master's degrees at Eastern bringing cutting-edge preparation and real-world expertise in math and science to high-need schools.
The 2013 class is the third group of Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellows named in Michigan for this program, launched by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in 2010 and administered by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, located in Princeton, NJ.
The program ultimately will provide more than 100,000 students with the level of instruction they need to contribute and thrive in Michigan's rapidly changing economy and workforce. Numerous studies have demonstrated that students in high-need schools are significantly less likely to have access to such teachers, particularly in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math).
Here is a list of this year's EMU Fellows, along with their hometown, educational degrees and noteworthy facts about each recipient:
All of the Woodrow Wilson fellows majored in a STEM discipline during college, with 29 percent (25) majoring in the sciences, 10 percent (5) in mathematics, and 13 percent (7) in engineering. Twenty-two recipients have advanced degrees including 11 graduate degrees, two Ph.D's and nine master's degrees.
"The research is clear - the most important factor affecting the quality of a student's education is the quality of the classroom teacher," said Sterling Speirn, president and CEO of the Kellogg Foundation. "Beyond that, effective educators can make a powerful and lasting impact on students in ways that can't be measured by test scores and report cards."
Other campuses besides Eastern Michigan who are working with the fellows include Grand Valley State University, Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, Wayne State University, and Western Michigan University.
Each university partners with local school districts, where the Woodrow Wilson Fellows learn to teach in real classrooms from the beginning of their master's work, just as physicians learn in teaching hospitals. The ten partner districts for these clinical placements, up from nine last year, include Battle Creek, Benton Harbor, Comstock, Detroit, Godfrey-Lee, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Muskegon, Wyoming and Ypsilanti.
"Michigan's economic future will be driven by the STEM fields," said Arthur Levine, president of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. "Getting strong math and science teachers into Michigan's high-need schools means both creating opportunities for the young people who most need them and building the state's workforce."
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. For more information, visit the W.K. Kellog Foundation homepage.
Founded in 1945, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation of Princeton, New Jersey identifies and develops leaders and institutions to meet the nation's critical challenges, working through education. Visit the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship homepage for more information.