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New Program Will Recruit, Prepare Master’s Candidates

to Teach Science, Technology, Math in High-Need Indiana Classrooms

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.

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.

For more information on the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, contact Beverly Sanford, vice president for communications, at sanford@woodrow.org or 609.945.7885.