Teacher-Centered Workforce Development

The Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership at NC State addresses the critical need for high-quality professional development for educators and is the largest teacher-centered workforce development program in North Carolina.

What We Do

Our model offers K–12 educators immersion experiences within local industries and higher education institutions, giving them firsthand insights into regional career pathways for students. We then guide educators in translating these immersion experiences into programs and resources that bridge the gap between schools and the workforce. 

Our Why

Educators are professionals deserving of respect and investment.

Our Work

Industry-Based Fellowships for Teachers

The fellowship is open to K-12 public and charter school educators in North Carolina. Key components are a three-week summer internship with a mentor in a research or applied STEM setting and 80 hours of professional development.

Special Programs

We leverage our alumni network to facilitate special professional learning programs like STEMwork and Mountains to Sea. STEMwork Scholars visit local industries during the summer and complete online modules to develop Project-Based Learning (PBL) units. Mountains to Sea Scholars participate in virtual and in-person workshops on special topics in environmental education.

Resources for Educators

Alumni play key roles in the Kenan Fellows Program, including serving on the editorial board for the peer-reviewed Journal of Interdisciplinary Teacher Leadership. They also contribute to planning and delivering our professional learning institutes as part of the faculty. Additionally, Fellows contribute lessons to our online database of inquiry-based curricula.


Advance K-12 STEM education by providing educators with relevant, real-world professional learning and leadership development, through innovative collaborations with partners committed to 21st-century education and workforce preparation.


Kenan Fellows form and enhance innovative communities of learning that inspire students and prepare them for an ever-changing world.


Established from a community effort to address the retention of math and science teachers in the Research Triangle, we are now recognized as a model for STEM workforce development partnerships in K-12 education.


We connect K-12 educators with industry, university, and community college experts, enhancing learning opportunities for all students. These collaborations prepare students for their chosen careers by improving their understanding of required skills.

Proven Leadership

Kenan Fellows excelled in leading professional development compared to a similar program. Independent research found they were almost twice as likely to lead and foster more peer collaboration through professional learning communities. Additionally, our alumni provide about $1.5M annually in free professional development for North Carolina educators.