Columbus, Ohio – Ohio Governor Ted Strickland today announced the four universities and school districts that will serve as hosts for the Woodrow Wilson Ohio Teaching Fellowship program: The University of Akron and Akron Public School District; University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Public School District; John Carroll University and Cleveland Metropolitan School District; and The Ohio State University and Columbus City School District.

“It’s clear that we must engage more students in the STEM fields to meet the demands of the new Ohio economy,” Strickland said. “These teaching fellowships will build on Ohio’s ongoing STEM efforts and especially impact these four communities. This partnership help engage more teachers in the STEM disciplines and inspire Ohio’s students to pursue career opportunities in these growing fields. The Obama administration’s selection of Ohio is testament to our commitment to quality teaching and innovation in the classroom, and we are grateful for their support.”

Today’s news follows last month’s White House announcement by President Barack Obama that Ohio, Michigan and Indiana have been selected to participate in the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship as part of the “Educate to Innovate” campaign.

The fellowship program is designed to transform teacher preparation programs and bring new talent into classrooms to address significant shortages of mathematics and science teachers. The objective is to educate Ohioans for STEM teaching roles in high-need rural and urban public schools.

Dr. Arthur Levine, president of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation; Chancellor Eric D. Fingerhut of Ohio Board of Regents; and representatives of the four universities and four school districts joined Strickland at today’s announcement, at the close of the Ohio STEM Conference.

“America’s schools of education are being asked to rise to the challenge of preparing a new generation of teachers — educators who can teach the most diverse population of students in the nation’s history to meet the highest standards ever demanded by our schools,” said Dr. Levine. “This Fellowship not only recruits accomplished people to meet that challenge, but also engages the host universities in rethinking how to help them do it.”

In Ohio, the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship is being launched as part of the Choose Ohio First scholarship program, the state’s premier model for recruiting and retaining talented Ohio residents in STEM and STEM-education fields. Participating colleges and school districts are chosen by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.

Altogether, the institutions will host 80 fellows each year. Fellows will be provided with $30,000 in stipends as prospective teachers who agree to spend a year in exemplary teacher education programs and teach for three years in low-income rural and urban secondary schools. Participating institutions will also receive additional funding to fundamentally rethink their approach to teacher preparation.

“STEM education is crucial to creating an innovative workforce,” said Chancellor Fingerhut. “The Woodrow Wilson Fellowship program will give Ohio’s teachers the ability to provide an unparalleled education to students in subjects that are critical to our state’s and nation’s future.”

In Indiana, Michigan and Ohio, over the course of their three-year programs, the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship will prepare more than 700 math and science teachers at 14 institutions, with a total of nearly $40 million in public and private funding and a lifelong impact on the math and science achievement of an estimated 87,500 students who will learn from the fellows each year.

Ohio’s program is supported through the state’s Choose Ohio First funds, with additional commitments from six Ohio funders, including The Cleveland Foundation; George Gund Foundation; Martha Holden Jennings Foundation; GAR Foundation; Battelle Memorial Institute; and The Battelle Fund at the Columbus Foundation, as well as matching funds provided by the campuses. Approximately $9 million will be provided through Choose Ohio First, while $2.4 million will come from foundation support.

The Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowships attract talented people, career changers as well as new graduates, to the education field, with a particular focus on transforming teacher education. Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellows hold baccalaureate degrees in math or science and are high achievers, academically and professionally. They complete an intensive, field-based master’s program in teacher education at a participating university, overseen by both the university’s STEM faculty and its education faculty in cooperation with partner school districts.

For more information, visit www.uso.edu and www.woodrow.org.

About the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation

The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation identifies and develops the best minds for the nation’s most important challenges. In these areas of challenge, the Foundation awards fellowships to enrich human resources, works to improve public policy, and assists organizations and institutions in enhancing practice in the U.S. and abroad.

About the University System of Ohio

The University System of Ohio is the largest comprehensive public system of higher education in the nation, offering options for every student, from GEDs to Ph.D.s. Consisting of 14 universities, 24 university branch campuses, 23 community colleges, and over 120 adult education program sites, the University System of Ohio ensures that all Ohioans have access to a high-quality, affordable higher education within 30 miles of their home. For more information, visit www.uso.edu.

Posted on April 16, 2010
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