University of Pennsylvania Selected as a Site of Leonore Annenberg/Woodrow Wilson Teaching Program

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Media Contact:Julie McWilliams | juliemcw@upenn.edu | 215-898-1422
Media Contact:Jill Disanto-Haines | jdisanto@upenn.edu | 215-898-4820February 14, 2008

PHILADELPHIA -- The University of Pennsylvania has been selected by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation as one of four sites to host the new Leonore Annenberg/Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship program.

The program is designed to encourage Penn’s undergraduate arts-and-sciences students to seek long-term teaching careers in high-need public school classrooms. Candidates who agree to teach for three years in low-income schools will each receive a $30,000 stipend to support one year of graduate education at one of four of the nation’s top teacher-education programs.

Funding is provided through a $5 million grant from the Annenberg Foundation and a $1 million grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Annenberg Teaching Fellowship programs are also based at Stanford University, the University of Virginia and University of Washington.

Faculty from Penn’s School of Arts and Sciences and Graduate School of Education will be involved in the curriculum development and nomination process, seeking candidates who show a commitment to high-need communities, education and schoolchildren. Penn students who have participated in academically based community service programs through Penn’s Netter Center for Community Partnerships will be encouraged to apply.

The first fellows will be named in the spring of 2009 during their senior year. They will begin their master’s degrees and student teaching during the 2009-10 academic year, and they will start classroom teaching as public school employees in 2010. The fellows will work with local school districts to get classroom training during their graduate course work. The program is expected to produce 100 Annenberg Fellows, 25 at each of the participating universities.

The Annenberg Foundation also launched an inaugural state fellowship program in Indiana, with plans to extend such programs to all states. Both the state and national programs have been developed to overhaul teacher education programs, bring strong teachers into high-need schools, attract the best candidates to the profession through high visibility of the fellowships and reduce the teacher attrition rate through intensive preparation and on-going mentoring.

The fellowship is named for Leonore Annenberg, the president and chairman of the Annenberg Foundation and a former chief of protocol of the United States.

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