Principal Ambassador Fellowship Program
Applications for the 2015-2016 Principal Ambassador Fellowship are now available and will close on January 20, 2015. All applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time. No materials will be accepted after the submission date.
For updates on the 2015-2016 application process, sign up for email notifications or if you have questions regarding the Teaching Ambassador Fellowship program, please email PrincipalFellowship@ed.gov.
Applicants will be evaluated based on written responses to narrative “vacancy” questions, as well as the provision of a letter of recommendation from the candidate’s employer, and a resume. Only complete applications will be considered. All required materials reflect the key qualities we seek in Principal Ambassador Fellows, which include:
- Contributions to Student Learning & Culture — the extent to which the candidate has had demonstrable and meaningful impact on student achievement and school success;
- Effective Leadership and Team Work — the extent to which the candidate brings a record of effective leadership and team work amongst peers and other key stakeholders;
- Applicable Skills — the extent to which the candidate demonstrates the skills required to serve as a Fellow including written and oral communication skills;
- Relevant Interests & Expertise — the extent to which the candidate has the ability to provide relevant insights from school and district experiences to education policy, programs, and initiatives; and,
- School System Support — the extent to which the candidate has demonstrable support from their employer for program participation.
More specifically, a complete application includes:
- Four Narrative Responses
The application contains four questions to which the candidate must provide four short narrative responses (no more than 500 words or 3500 characters with spaces). The specific prompts you will find in the application are:
- Contributions to Student Learning & Culture — Describe your effectiveness as a principal as measured by improved student outcomes and other measures of school success. Include quantitative and qualitative evidence. Discuss how your unique school context, setting and demographics informs your approach and efforts as a principal.
- Effective Leadership and Team Work — Describe your experience as a principal and provide examples of your approach and style as a leader, both within your specific school among teachers and staff and in teams or settings that include peers, educational leaders at a variety of school levels, or other key education stakeholders. You may include relevant experience from your personal, educational or professional background.
- Applicable Skills and Experience — The Department is fast-paced and Fellows often work in an ambiguous environment. Fellows must digest and relay complex information and comfortably network and communicate with a wide variety of stakeholders. Describe relevant experience you have had in similar environments or in carrying out similar tasks you, and with writing and orally presenting on education issues. Include strategies, tools or resources that you have allowed you to be successful.
- Interests and Expertise — Discuss how your experience can inform the Department’s work and what you hope to gain from the experience. Include relevant experience specific to Department funded programs, including the impact in your school community, and/or in the key areas of implementing rigorous standards and instruction; support for great teachers and leaders; turning around chronically low performing schools; and providing access and opportunity for all students from cradle to career.
Highly rated candidates provide succinct but thorough responses addressing each of the subcomponents of the vacancy question and provide examples demonstrating how the applicant meets the above criteria. Applications are peer reviewed as a whole package. While information found in any part of the application will be considered as part of the scoring, applicants are encouraged to clearly demonstrate how they meet the criteria outlined in each question and may repeat information as is necessary to do so.
- An Employer Letter of Recommendation
Fellows share public resources with and hear from educators across the country, including in their own school communities. District support for Principal Ambassador Fellowship participation is critical. Therefore the required Employer letter should indicate an understanding of the requirements of participation in the Fellowship program and recommend you for the program. The letter must be on letterhead and signed in order to be considered. It may be written by the candidate’s direct supervisor, but must include sign-off by the Superintendent (or equivalent position depending context.) Information in the letter that supports or bolsters your narrative responses on any of the topics above will be taken into account in the review process.
Highly rated submissions speak to specific ways in which the applicant is a valued member of the schools community and ways in which the employers is prepared to enable the candidate’s program participation, given the leadership needs of the school.
Please note: Recommenders do not need to submit any paperwork at this point or guarantee IPA approval. Rather the employer letter should demonstrate a willingness by the candidate’s supervisor to assist in ultimately gaining district approval for the IPA should s/he be selected.
- A Current Resume
A resume is required for all Federal candidates. It should at a minimum provide current and best contact information and clearly indicate the school and district in which you serve. Resumes are used to help verify eligibility and should be consistent with or able to enhance information contained within your narrative responses.
To begin applying for the Principal Ambassador Fellowship please review the vacancy announcement at usajobs.com. Be sure to carefully follow all directions and steps included within the Vacancy Posting. For step-by-step instructions, please print and read the Application Instructions.
How Applications Are Evaluated
All applications are screened for eligibility and reviewed by teams of current and alumni Fellows and Department staff members who have been or work closely on issues of concern to teachers. Applications are rated according the criteria listed above. The most highly rated applicants may be asked to participate in telephone and potentially in-person interview processes.
All applicants will be notified by email of their status in the competition. If you have not heard back from the Department by April 2015, please be in contact with us at PrincipalFellowship@ed.gov. Given the volume of applications, feedback on applications will not be provided.