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Students invited to apply for N.C. Teaching Fellows program

The application window has opened for students to apply for the N.C. Teaching Fellows program, which provides up to $4,125 per semester in forgivable loans to students preparing for a teaching career in the fields of science, technology, engineering, math or special education.

“We encourage students interested in becoming a N.C. Teaching Fellow to submit their applications right away,” said Jennifer Diliberto, director of the Teaching Fellows program for the School of Education. “This is a wonderful opportunity for financial assistance and also supplemental activities that enrich our Fellows’ experiences while building collegial relationships as a community of learners.”

Carolina’s School of Education is one of five across the state chosen to participate in the program established to recruit, prepare and support students attending North Carolina’s top education programs for preparation as highly effective STEM or special education teachers in the state’s public schools.

Students participating in the N.C. Teaching Fellows Program receive up to $4,125 per semester in forgivable loans if they commit to teach in a STEM or a special education area. The program is 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.

The deadline for applications is Jan. 11, 2021.

Multiple options for using N.C. Teaching Fellows support

The School of Education offers a variety of teacher-preparation pathways in which students may take advantage of N.C. Teaching Fellows funding:

The Master of Arts in Teaching program, which includes an option that allows students to become dually licensed in elementary or secondary education, plus special education. N.C. Teaching Fellows funding may be used for the MAT program’s summer session.

The Pre-MAT pathway in which Carolina undergraduate students can begin earning credits in the MAT program while they earn their bachelor’s degree.

UNC-BEST, a collaboration with Carolina’s College of Arts and Sciences in which science and mathematics majors can also complete coursework for teaching licensure.

Pathway to Practice, a partnership with NC State University that provides a competency-based licensure program for residency licensed teachers who are teaching as a STEM or special education teacher in K-12 public schools in North Carolina.

A cohort model

“We have designed our Teaching Fellows program so that students feel connected to a cohort that shares and reflects on a variety of experiences that enhance each Fellow’s preparation for rewarding and effective teaching careers,” Diliberto said.

Those experiences include seminars with educational experts, field trips, professional development programs, and experiential learning opportunities, including an option for a N.C. Outward Bound experience.

The N.C. Teaching Fellows program was launched in 2018, drawing on the experience of an earlier Teaching Fellows program that operated from 1986 until 2015.

The School of Education currently has 27 students in the N.C. Teaching Fellows program. Thirteen Carolina N.C. Teaching Fellows graduates are now working in North Carolina schools.

Highlights of the N.C. Teaching Fellows program

    • The amount of the forgivable loan is up to $4,125 per semester.
    • 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.
    • The N.C. Teaching Fellows Program provides scholarships to roughly 160 future teachers per year.

More details are available at the N.C. Teaching Fellows website.