The North Carolina Teaching Fellows Program, created in 1986, was a breakthrough initiative that addressed a critical need for teachers in the state by recruiting top North Carolina high school students into teaching.
The program provided holistic training and support to develop Teaching Fellows as exceptional teacher-leaders. To underscore the message that teaching was a career as prestigious as law, medicine, business or other prominent professions, the Teaching Fellows Program offered competitive, four-year scholarships in return for a commitment to teach in North Carolina public schools for at least four years. If a recipient could not repay the scholarship through teaching service, the loan had to be repaid to the state with 10 percent interest.
The strategy worked, creating a corps of inspired and dedicated educators who continue to lead schools, classrooms, school districts and education programs throughout North Carolina.
Studies of the initiative conducted in 1995 and 2012, and interviews conducted for this report with former Teaching Fellows, program officials, and education leaders and experts, point to a common conclusion: The North Carolina Teaching Fellows Program made a big difference — in the quality of students it attracted, in the education they received, and for the students and schools they served.
As a former Teaching Fellow, the Forum’s oversight of that scholarship program allowed me to enter the profession equipped for the realities of the classroom and fostered a growth mindset for my career. Now, as the 2015-2016 North Carolina Teacher of the Year, the Public School Forum has prepared and equipped me yet again for the policy realm with the Education Policy Fellowship Program. The Forum is an asset to North Carolina Public Education and to all educators and students.Keana Tripplett
The scholarship allowed me to go to college and not have crippling student loans. I became a superintendent in large part because I did not have crippling school loans that precluded me from pursuing my master’s degree and doctorate.Greg Little
Teaching Fellows Impact Report
The Public School Forum of North Carolina, which developed the concept for the program and provided administrative support for the Teaching Fellows Commission and the overall program since its inception in 1986, has published a report on the program’s impact.
In 2011, the NC General Assembly voted to end the NC Teaching Fellows Program. In the Spring of 2015 the final class of nearly 500 Teaching Fellows will graduate and enter public school classrooms across the state.
Beginning March 1, 2015, all administrative duties of the NC Teaching Fellows Program will transfer from the Public School Forum of North Carolina to the NC State Education Assistance Authority (SEAA). This includes all matters related to the program, including scholarship fund release, job verification, appeals, and requests for reinstatement. Below is the contact information for SEAA:
For Teaching Fellows in repayment (cash or teaching service):
SEAA — Repayment Services
PO Box 14002
RTP, NC 27709-4002
For Teaching Fellows still in school:
SEAA — Teaching Fellows
PO Box 13663
RTP, NC 27709-3663
Telephone:(800) 700 1775, Option 1