Applying for a Fellowship

Each fellowship project has a unique set of criteria that in some cases is restricted by district, grade level and subject area. Applicants should review the individual project requirements prior to applying.

Applicants must:

  • Complete the online application in full, including a 500 to 1,000-word essay or provide a link to a 3-5 minute video addressing the prompts provided in the application.
  • Submit two letters of recommendation (one from an administrator and the other from a colleague or other professional contact). An application is considered complete when both letters of recommendation have been received.

Selection process:

  • A committee of Kenan Fellows Program staff, mentors and alumni review all completed applications between January and March.
  • Final candidates are invited for an interview in March.
  • Interviews are approximately 30 minutes, and the interview team includes staff, alumni and mentor/s.
  • Interviewees are assessed according to a standardized rubric.
  • Selections are made in April.
  • All applicants are notified of their status by mail in May.
  • You can view the application and instructions here.

Eligibility & Selection Criteria 

Eligible candidates for the Kenan Fellows program must be certified to teach in public or charter schools in North Carolina.

Selection Criteria 

  • The program is open to teachers at the elementary, middle and high school levels.
  • District, subject areas and grade level requirements are unique to every fellowship project.
  • No minimum years of service requirement.
  • Demonstrate leadership or leadership potential like number of grants awarded, serving on school leadership teams, mentorship and presentations at conferences.
  • National Board certification is not a requirement, but it is an example of leadership.
  • Year round teachers may apply. Some projects are more adaptable to a year round schedule.

Fellowship Benefits

The Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership supports exceptional teachers through tailored professional development and industry-based internships. Teachers who complete the program say they feel a deeper connection to their community and grow professionally as part of a statewide network of teacher leaders.

Kenan Fellows:

  • Receive a $5,000 stipend upon completion of fellowship requirements
  • Complete 80 hours of professional development focusing on building leadership capacity and improving teacher practice
  • Deepen their content knowledge through an immersive industry-based summer internship
  • Learn about career pathways and career skills needed for students to succeed in the workforce
  • Collaborate and connect with other educators, business leaders and university researchers
  • Earn a digital badge

Fellowship Requirements

Kenan Fellows must:

  • Remain in their school or district role while completing the one-year fellowship.
  • Complete of 80 hours of professional development.
  • Complete a 120-hour summer internship with a mentor. This is expected to be a 40-hour per week commitment typically during June and July.
  • Develop and implement relevant educational materials and/or programs based on the fellowship project and internship experience.
  • Write reflections on their experience in a private online forum with other Fellows.
  • Maintain a positive and collaborative relationship with their mentor.
  • Maintain positive collaborations with other Fellows.
  • Share the resources and products developed during the fellowship with colleagues at the school, district, and state level.

Summer Internship

The internship gives teachers the practical knowledge and application to communicate career pathways and workforce skills to students.

A typical summer internship is three weeks, 40 hours per week. Prior to starting the internship, Kenan Fellows and their mentors will arrange a time to discuss logistics such as security, parking and any regulations specific to the mentor’s facility.

During the internship, Fellows and mentors identify connections between the workplace and the classroom; and collaborate on ways to incorporate career relevance in classroom content.

Each fellowship is unique and develops depending on the needs and desires of the mentor and the Fellow. Fellows maintain contact with their mentor during the school year by inviting them to their classroom or in some cases planning field trips to mentor facilities.

The Mentor

A mentor is a research or industry partner. Each Fellow is paired with at least one mentor who oversees the Fellow’s summer internship, offering insights to their work, experiences in research and if applicable, access to their labs and resources. Mentors provide support throughout the course of the year-long formal fellowship.

Professional Development

Professional development is delivered in a series of residential institutes for a total of 80 hours. Attendance at all institutes is a fellowship requirement. The institutes foster collaboration and camaraderie among members of the cohort and some of the best ideas come from engaging with other Fellows.

Kenan Fellows Program staff, along with a Faculty of alumni, plan and facilitate each institute. Sessions reflect current trends in education and are responsive to participants’ needs. Sample topics include creating a positive school culture, Project-Based Learning (PBL), Social Emotional Learning and tech tools to enhance the teaching practice.

Final Product

Kenan Fellows are expected to develop and implement a product based on their fellowship project and internship experience. Products can be a lesson plan or unit, a community engagement event, a teacher training session or even educational materials for the mentor organization. Some products may deviate from the traditional format based on the needs of the mentor. These exceptions are noted during the interview process.

Alumni Network

The Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership’s alumni network is an elite group of more than 500 educators statewide. Alumni and current Kenan Fellows both benefit from engagement in a network of compassionate, supportive and innovative educators.

Alumni stay connected by serving on our Faculty, our Board of Advisors, and as members of the Editorial Board for our online journal, the Journal of Interdisciplinary Teacher Leadership. We also offer opportunities for professional growth and engagement through our special professional learning institutes including STEMwork and Mountains to the Sea. Alumni are invited as facilitators and participants for both institutes.

Additionally, alumni help in the recruitment and selection of new Kenan Fellows.