2013 First to the Top Summer Fellowship
Apply by the Feb. 8 deadline.
Tennessee sits at a critical juncture in education. As the first winner (along with Delaware) of the Race to the Top competition, we have a compelling vision, goals and plan designed to make us the fastest-improving state in the country in educational outcomes. Currently, based on 2011 4th grade NAEP results, our students rank 46th among states in math proficiency levels and 41st in reading, and only 15 percent of our students are college-ready in all four subject areas on the ACT. At the same time, we are grappling with large achievement gaps throughout the system along lines of race and income. As a state agency, we are committed to ensuring effective implementation of policy, and to shaping strong management practices across the public education sector, all with a focus on continuous improvement. The time for education reform is now.
The First to the Top Summer Fellowship is a highly selective 8-10 week program designed to provide the next generation of education leaders with an opportunity to play an integral role in the innovative and ambitious work taking place at the Tennessee Department of Education and across the state. Fellows will receive a $7,500 stipend.
High-impact work on essential projects tied to our strategic priorities and First to the Top goals, with placement based on department needs and fellow’s interests, skill set, and experience
Unique cohort experience that features opportunities for networking with a select group of diverse individuals through peer collaboration and cohort-based activities
Engagement with the department’s senior leaders and interaction with key education leaders across the state
Unparalleled immersion into the work of state-level education reform in a fast-paced, results-driven environment
Past fellows' projects:
- Drafting a professional development vendor report card and submitting a memo to the Commissioner
- Developing a project charter for the release of the 2011-2012 State Report Card
- Researching blended learning models and providing strategic recommendations for model adoption
Schools/organizations represented in past cohorts:
- University of Michigan Ross School of Business
- Harvard Graduate School of Education
- University of Georgia School of Public and International Affairs
- Teach For America
- Vanderbilt Peabody College of Education
- Bachelor’s degree
- 2+ years of professional work experience or 1+ years of graduate degree program completion
- Demonstrated record of success in achieving outcomes
- Strong verbal and written communication skills
- Skills and experience in strategic thinking and planning, project management, and data analysis
- Experience working toward project-based goals
- Self-starter able to work independently and to execute within timelines
- Flexibility and organization skills necessary to work on multiple projects/tasks simultaneously
The deadline for all applications to be submitted is Friday, Feb. 8, 2013. To apply, please submit the following materials to FTTT.Fellowship@tn.gov:
- Cover letter explaining your interest in the First to the Top Fellowship and the Tennessee Department of Education
- 2-3 page writing sample demonstrating your ability to think critically and write clearly (excerpts are acceptable)
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Strong applicants will be invited to participate in a phone interview. All applicants will be notified of their application status by Friday, March 1. For additional information or questions, please contact Venita Cooper at email@example.com.