Minority Teaching Fellowships

In 1990, in response to a teacher shortage, anticipated educational reform measures, and diversity in public school classrooms, the Fund decided to focus on teachers as the best means for improving the U.S. educational system. It designed a program to encourage outstanding minority college students to enter graduate teacher education programs. The Rockefeller Brothers Fund Fellowships for Minority Students Entering the Teaching Profession selected approximately 25 students annually and provided them with up to five years of tuition assistance and loan repayment, contingent upon teaching in public schools. It also provided opportunities for mentoring and summer workshops. The program was small but impactful, providing not only material support to aspiring teachers but attaching a measure of prestige to the profession that attracted high-quality applicants. An important support network also emerged among alumni fellows. It continued through 2008, when the Fund took special care to identify another organization suited to administering it, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, and transferred the program with funding for three additional classes of fellows.

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