Independent Schools Fellowship Program

The Independent Schools Program is a masters degree program created by independent schools faculty for independent schools faculty at our partner schools.

The Independent Schools Fellowship (ISF) is for aspiring and early career educators who would like to build their experience while getting their graduate degree. It is an opportunity for you to get into the world of teaching, with the support of mentors and the coursework to help you: learn how to develop curricula, effectively engage students and manage your classroom, and be a good coach and advisor, and be a leader in your school.

Overview

Designed for full-time educators working in independent schools, you will build the skills to enhance your teaching and prepare for leadership roles. Students collaborate with a faculty liaison from their home campus as well as with our outstanding independent schools faculty and colleagues in our independent schools program to expand your professional network.

This customizable program includes courses on pedagogy, leadership, and working in an independent school context to help you build a rich toolbox to draw from for your personal and professional success. 

If you are accepted into the Fellowship program, you will receive a $5,000 Emerging Leader Scholarship. You will have access to our special webinars and Independent Schools Professional Learning Community (PLC). Additionally, you will work with mentors throughout your time in the program.

Objective

The Independent Schools Fellowship requires employment in one of our partner schools and the completion of 32 credits minimum over two years. Additionally, fellows complete a Capstone project in their second year. Fellows graduate with a Master of Arts in Teaching.  

The M.A.T. in Teacher Leadership program supports educators who want to help build their school’s capacity for success, support professional growth among their peers, or serve in a leadership role at the local, state, or national level.

Meet the faculty and staff >

Schedule & Curriculum

Our program is designed so you can balance the responsibilities of being a full time fellow building your experience at an independent school and earning your masters degree. Most students take 1-2 classes a semester over the course of 2 years. The program that starts in July to prepare you for starting your teaching in the fall. Summer courses are offered using our dynamic hybrid online course model, which allows students to participate live either on-campus or online. In the fall and spring, students attend live online, interactive evening courses.  

You will develop not just your teaching skills, but your ability to engage and support students outside the classroom as well as an advisor, coach, and dorm parent. The program starts with mentors helping prepare you for the classroom, and culminates in a capstone project you develop with the support of experts in the field.

Download a sample course timeline

Download an introductory letter for your Head of School or Dean of Faculty

Sample Course Schedules

Term

Independent Schools Fellowship Track

Independent Schools Leadership Track

YEAR 1

Summer 

(online or on campus)

X.EDUC 441 Fostering a Collaborative Culture (2cr)
X.EDUC 420 Child & Adolescent Development (2cr)

X.EDUC 419 Independent Schools: New Teachers Seminar’ (2cr)

OR

X.SPED 426 Inclusive Classroom (2cr)

X.EDUC 441 Fostering a Collaborative Culture (2cr)

X.EDUC 467 Coaching, Mentoring, and Facilitating Instructional Improvements (2cr)

X.EDUC 456 Promoting Professional Learning (2cr)

Fall 

(online)

X.EDUC 452AT Social-Emotional Learning and Development: 'Coaching and Athletics' (2cr)
X.EDUC 476 Independent School: Beyond the Classroom (2cr)

X.EDUC 427 Practicum Prof Dev and Mentoring (3cr)
X.EDUC 476 Independent School: Beyond the Classroom (2cr)

January (online)

X.SPED 416 Interventions for Behavior and Classroom Management (1cr)

OR

X.EDUC 457 Personal & Professional Leadership (1cr)

X.EDUC 457 Personal & Professional Leadership (1cr)

Spring (online)

X.EDUC 452AC Social-Emotional Learning and Development: 'Advising and Counseling Students Beyond the Classroom' (2cr)
X.EDUC 468 Leadership in Practice for Educators (1cr)

X.EDUC 437 Adv Practicum Prof Dev & Mentoring (2cr)

X.EDUC 468 Leadership in Practice for Educators (1cr) (OPTIONAL)

YEAR 2

Summer 

(online or on campus)

X.EDUC 449 Equity and Social Justice: A Teacher's Role (2cr)

X.EDUC 455 Outreach & Advocacy for Educational Change (4cr)

X.EDUC 449 Equity and Social Justice: A Teacher’s Role (2cr)

X.EDUC 455 Outreach & Advocacy for Educational Change (4cr)

Fall 

(online)

X.EDUC 458 Owning Data and Assessments for Student Learning (2cr)

X.EDUC 413 Leading Colleagues Using Research: Bridging the Gap Between Research and Practice (2cr)

X.EDUC 458 Owning Data and Assessments for Student Learning (2cr)

X.EDUC 413 Leading Colleagues Using Research: Bridging the Gap Between Research and Practice (2cr)

January (online)

X.EDUC 414 Research Design for Educators (1cr)

X.EDUC 414 Research Design for Educators (1cr)

Spring  (online)

X.EDUC 477 Teaching/Learning strat for pract (4cr)

X.EDUC 489 Catapult! Capstone (1cr)

X.EDUC 477 Teaching/Learn strat for pract (4cr)

X.EDUC 489 Catapult! Capstone (1cr)

Summer 

(online or on campus)

X.EDUC 489 Catapult! Capstone (4cr)

X.EDUC 489 Catapult! Capstone (4cr)

*Note: the programs of study above indicate a total of 34 credits. Students are encouraged to tailor their programs to meet their personal and professional goals and may deviate from this course list. A minimum of 32 credits is required to graduate and typical course plans range from 32-38 credits depending on students’ interests.

Apply

ISF Apply Timeline

Step 1. Identify and apply to one of the Fellowship Positions that is a good match for you. Consider the partner school’s mission, approach, setting, and openings.

Step 2. Secure an offer from a school that is willing to sponsor you as a fellow. 

Step 3. Apply to Mount Holyoke College. The Independent Schools Fellowship program is a program of the MAT, Teacher Leadership program.

Step 4. Once you are admitted to the program, begin preparing to start your coursework in the summer, and your new position at the partner school in the fall.