The College of New Jersey and four other institutions of higher education have partnered with a Princeton-based foundation to develop a program to recruit top science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) college graduates and career changers, and prepare them to teach in 12 New Jersey school districts.
TCNJ has joined Montclair State University, Rowan University, Rutgers University-Camden, and William Paterson University in developing model master’s-level teacher preparation programs for the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship, a nationally known program.
The first Fellows will be selected in spring 2014 and start their academic programs in fall 2014. They will go through a rigorous one-year program in local school classrooms, a clinically based approach similar to that of medical schools. Fellows will receive $30,000 stipends to use during the master’s program. In exchange, they commit to teach in a high-need school in New Jersey for three years, with ongoing mentoring.
Created by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, the Teaching Fellowship is contributing to President Barack Obama’s goal of recruiting and preparing 100,000 new STEM teachers nationwide. Similar programs have been successfully implemented in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio, and the program received a White House endorsement in January 2010. New Jersey is the first East Coast state to launch the program.
In announcing the partnership in December, Governor Chris Christie said it marked “another important step to ensure our teachers are prepared before they are placed in high-need schools.”