To be eligible for the School Ambassador Fellowship program, participants must:
- Be a US Citizen or Permanent Resident.
- Currently be a teacher, administrator, student support provider, or other school staff member (and anticipate being employed in this role during the next school year).
- Employed by a traditional accredited public, charter, private, virtual, military (DoDEA), or tribal (BIE) school that serves any grade, preschool through twelfth. (Please note that we only accept applications for candidates that are employed with a school or district).
- Have at least five years of experience as an educator up to and including the current school year.
- Have daily meaningful interaction with students and educators in a school setting in his/her school role.
Desirable applicants have:
- A history of demonstrable and meaningful impact on student outcomes and school success.
- A record of leadership in the school and community settings.
- Strong written and oral communication skills.
- Experience with outreach activities and project management skills.
- Relevant insights from classroom, school and/or district experiences that are transferable to federal education programs and initiatives.
- Support from school and district leaders.
A complete application includes the components listed below. Applications that do not include each of the required components will not be reviewed and scored:
- Verification of program eligibility requirements;
- Personal statement video;
- A one-page, written abstract of intended Capstone project;
- Three recommender forms (one from current supervisor and two from others who can attest to the applicant’s quality and impact;
- A current resume (cover letter is optional).
Application Review and Selection
School Ambassador Fellowship selection encompasses four distinct phases, as described below:
Phase 1: Application Completeness Check and Ranking
As part of their application submissions, SAF applicants must provide information on their experiences and achievements by (1) selecting statements which most closely align with their level and types of experiences and achievements they possess; and (2) uploading artifacts that support their selected statements. The online application portal will calculate a preliminary ranking score and rank each applicant based on their responses to the experience/achievement items. SAF program staff will review the applicants’ selections for accuracy against the artifacts provided and adjust scores as necessary when an applicant’s selection does not match how they rated their experiences and achievements. Following artifact review and scoring, the SAF program office will re-rank the scores and perform a completeness check of the top scoring applicants.
Phase 2: Application Panel Review
During the Application Panel Review round, the highest-scoring 100 applications from Phase 1 of selection are reviewed by a panel comprised of P-12 educators, higher education faculty, school district personnel, and other educational stakeholders. Each review panel is overseen by a trained U.S. Department of Education staff member or by a current or former School Ambassador Fellow.
Phase 3: Individual Virtual Interviews
During the interview round, the top-scoring applicants from the panel review round will be invited to meet with an interview panel to further discuss their candidacy for the School Ambassador Fellowship. All applicants will be notified about their progress in the Fellowship application and selection process.
Phase 4: Group Final Selection Interview
The top-scoring applicants from the previous rounds of selection will advance to the Group Final Selection Interview, which is an all-day virtual interview during which finalists will engage in individual and group performance tasks designed to assess the degree to which they are able to synthesize research, problem-solve, work collaboratively, and communicate effectively. The Group Final Selection Interview is attended by officials from across the US Department of Education who observer the finalists’ presentations, pose questions, and offer feedback on what they have seen and heard.
School Ambassador Fellowship Selection Criteria
All materials within the application are peer-reviewed and will be assessed against the School Ambassador Fellowship selection criteria. These selection criteria are:
- Demonstrable Contributions to Student Learning
- Effective Leadership Skills
- Strong Communication Skills
- Relevant Interests and Expertise
- School System Support
Successful School Ambassador Fellowship applications should clearly demonstrate:
- The candidate’s personal and professional experiences that have defined them as an educator;
- The extent to which candidates have used their career to be an agent of change within their local school district, state, or at the national level;
- The extent to which you will leverage your professional networks, resources, and abilities to promote the Secretary of Education’s priorities and the Department’s strategic goals and initiatives;
- The extent to which your membership in the School Ambassador Fellowship will benefit your school community and/or district.
Application Submission and Deadline
In order to be considered for the 2024-2025 School Ambassador Fellowship cohort, applicants must submit their application with all required documents and recommendations, using the online application system. Please note that any materials submitted by U.S. mail or email will not be reviewed.
The application period for the 2024-2025 cohort of the School Ambassador Fellowship opened on December 1, 2023 and closed on February 5, 2024 at 11:59pm EST. No applications are being accepted at this time.
Virtual Information and Q&A Webinar
The SAF Program Office held a virtual informational webinar for prospective applicants seeking to learn more about the School Ambassador Fellowship and the 2024-2025 cohort application and selection process on December 12, 2023. View the recording of the webinar here. View slides from the webinar here.
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