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Elon and four other North Carolina institutions chosen to re-establish the state’s Teaching Fellows program

The new program to launch in Fall 2018 is a reincarnation of the highly effective program that prepared future teachers to work in North Carolina schools.  

The re-established North Carolina Teaching Fellows program will be available in the 2018-19 academic year.

Elon University has been chosen to be a partner institution in the new North Carolina Teaching Fellows program approved by the state’s General Assembly. The program launches next fall to recruit, prepare and support students attending North Carolina's top education programs for preparation as highly effective teachers in the state's public schools. The program will provide scholarships to about 160 future teachers annually.

Students participating in the program will receive up to $8,250 per year in forgivable loans if they commit to teach in special education and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs. The program is specifically designed to attract high-quality teachers to low-performing schools by offering an accelerated loan forgiveness schedule for Teaching Fellows who agree to teach in a low-performing school in North Carolina.

Elon has operated a Teaching Fellows program continuously for more than two decades with a focus on preparing skilled and dedicated educators who are leaders both inside and outside of the classroom. The program has served as a source of high-quality teachers for schools in North Carolina and across the nation.

State funding that supported Teaching Fellows at Elon and prepared teachers for jobs in North Carolina public schools was phased out by the General Assembly in 2011. In response, Elon created its own National Teaching Fellows program, providing university-funded and endowed scholarships to continue the program for talented future teachers who intended to work in North Carolina schools or elsewhere. Currently, Elon enrolls about 25 Teaching Fellows in each entering class in its national program, providing $5,500 annual scholarships. Going forward, the Elon Teaching Fellows program will include both North Carolina Teaching Fellows and National Teaching Fellows.

Recognizing the impact of the loss of the North Carolina Teaching Fellows program, legislators voted this year to re-establish the program under the University of North Carolina General Administration. The North Carolina Teaching Fellows Commission selected five institutions that met the highest standards of quality in teacher education programs, including educator effectiveness, impact on student learning, passage rates for required licensure exams, early and frequent internship experiences for educator prep students and other factors. Elon’s program received the highest score and was selected as a partner institution along with Meredith College, North Carolina State University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

“We are thrilled that the state is re-establishing this critically important program and has selected Elon as a partner institution,” said Ann Bullock, dean of Elon’s School of Education. “Alumni of our Teaching Fellows program are making an impact in the lives of children across the state and demonstrating the value of the state’s investment in their education. Students in this new North Carolina Teaching Fellows program, along with students in Elon’s national Teaching Fellows program, deserve our support as they prepare to become the excellent educators our children deserve.”

“I congratulate these five great institutions on being selected as partner campuses for the Teaching Fellows Program," said Junius Gonzales, senior vice president for academic affairs for the University of North Carolina. “This new program will help recruit and retain high-quality teachers to areas of critical need in North Carolina."

The North Carolina Teaching Fellows Commission will be launching a website soon, providing details for students on how to apply for inclusion in the program. Highlights of the program include the following:

  • The application for prospective Teaching Fellows will be made available in early December.
  • The amount of the forgivable loan is up to $8,250.
  • Any student with a high school, associates or bachelor's degree is eligible. Even students who wish to transfer or change their majors are eligible.
  • Teachers have 10 years to pay back the loan, either through cash repayment or loan forgiveness. In order to meet the loan forgiveness requirement, a teacher is required to serve one year in a low-performing school or two years in another public school for every year they were awarded a forgivable loan.

Details about Elon’s existing national Teaching Fellows program can be found at: www.elon.edu/teachingfellows


Dan Anderson,
11/16/2017 1:35 PM