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Principal Ambassador Fellowship Program

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Program Questions

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  1. What is the Principal Ambassador Fellowship?
  2. How will the Principal Ambassador Fellowship differ from the Teacher Ambassador Fellowship?
  3. Why did the Department develop the Principal Ambassador Fellowship?
  4. What specific tasks do Campus Fellows perform?
  5. How are principals selected as Fellows?
  6. How competitive is this program?
  7. When does the program start and how long will it run?
  8. What do principals do after the Fellowship?
  9. Whom should I contact for further information?

1. What is the Principal Ambassador Fellowship?
The Principal Ambassador Fellowship is an initiative that is designed to improve education for students by involving current principals in the development and implementation of education policy. In this, our inaugural year, Principal Ambassador Fellows are selected to work for the U.S. Department of Education only part-time, on an hourly basis, from their home communities, as Campus Fellows. Fellows are school principals on loan from their school or district through the Intergovernmental Personnel Act Authority. They are paid to assist the Department at the Department’s expense and gain valuable professional development and experience with Federal materials and information. During their Fellowship, Fellows learn about the U.S. Department of Education’s programs, resources and policies, share this information with other educators, and provide their own input and the input of others to the national conversation on education. Additionally, since this is the program’s first year Fellows will be actively involved in shaping the Principal Ambassador Fellowship Program. TOP


2. How will the Principal Ambassador Fellowship differ from the Teacher Ambassador Fellowship?
In this first year, we foresee the principals to focus more on policy discussion with the Department and conduct less outreach than the Teaching Ambassador Fellows due to the difference in responsibilities within the school, particularly as the program develops. However, our first class of Fellows will be key actors in developing what the Principal Ambassador Fellowship will look like for coming years. We believe that the Fellows will have a better understanding of what will work best in practical application.  TOP


3. Why did the Department develop the Principal Ambassador Fellowship?
2013 marks the first year for the Principal Ambassador Fellowship. The program has been created to build on the Department’s Teaching Ambassador Fellowship and further the Department’s mission by providing the opportunity for a cadre of outstanding principals to contribute their school experiences and expertise to the national dialogue and in turn facilitate similar discussion with educators across the country. For the Fellows, the program allows them to add greater knowledge of policy and leadership to their toolkits to serve as further leaders in the field and create solutions for long intractable educational challenges at all levels. The Department recognizes the important role that principals play on student academic achievement and wants to them to involve their important perspective in the policy process, specifically concerning how to find a better way to recruit, prepare, develop, and retain effective school leaders.  TOP


4. What specific tasks do Campus Fellows perform?
Campus Fellows, although remaining at their home location, will be aiding the Department by sharing their ideas and opinions on education policies while acquiring a greater understanding of the policy process in Washington, D.C. Campus Fellows may also be asked to gather and share information with constituencies in the region. Additionally, since this is the program’s first year, Fellows will be actively involved in shaping the Principal Ambassador Fellowship Program.  TOP


5. How are principals selected as Fellows?
Principals are selected through a competitive application process. In addition to meeting the basic eligibility criteria, applicants are selected based on impact on student learning; leadership record; insight based on school experience; communication skills; school community support; and capacity for the work of the Fellowship. Applications are rated based on their responses to six vacancy questions addressing each of these areas and verification and further support is required from the applicant's resume and two to three letters of recommendation. The most highly rated applicants are then asked to participate in telephone and/or in-person individual and group interviews in order to select the most qualified and representative team of Fellows. TOP


6. How competitive is this program?
Since this is the first year of the program, we do not know how many applicants we expect to receive. However, due to only three positions being offered and the amount of interest people have expressed already, we expect the program to be competitive.  TOP


7. When does the program start and how long will it run?
The program is expected to run from approximately late October to July.  TOP


8. What do principals do after the Fellowship?
Campus Fellows, of course, keep their regular contracts throughout the Fellowship, but we encourage schools and districts to be innovative in taking advantage of the knowledge of policy gained by Fellows during their year. TOP


9. Whom should I contact for further information?

For questions about the program during the application process, please call 1-800-USA-LEARN or email PrincipalFellowship@ed.gov  You can also sign up to receive email updates about the program.

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Last Modified: 07/31/2013