Commonwealth of Massachusetts Approves Woodrow Wilson Academy As Degree-Granting Graduate School

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Oct. 31, 2017 () — At its fall meeting at Westfield State University, the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education today approved the Woodrow Wilson Academy of Teaching and Learning’s formal application to establish a mastery-based graduate school of education focused on preparing educators for the schools of tomorrow.

In 2015, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation ( revealed its intent to develop competency-based master’s degree programs in teaching and school leadership through the new Woodrow Wilson Academy of Teaching and Learning ( In 2016, the WW Academy received informal approval from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to offer an initial, post-baccalaureate license for middle and secondary school teachers in biology, chemistry, and math.

After spending the past year vetting its competencies for beginning teachers with experts and educators across the country, the WW Academy announced last month its 2017–18 “Design Fellow” class, comprising individuals with strong STEM (science-technology-engineering-math) content backgrounds who aspire to become secondary school educators. Design Fellows are helping develop the competency-based program, and test all curriculum, assessments, games, simulations, and other components developed by the WW Academy and MIT, the Foundation’s collaborator in this effort.

“Today is an important milestone for both the Woodrow Wilson Academy of Teaching and Learning and the future of teacher education,” said Arthur Levine, president of the WW Foundation and founding president of the WW Academy. “The WW Academy is focused on preparing a new generation of teachers who are both equipped with the skills and knowledge to succeed in the classrooms of today and ready to lead the creation of the schools and learning environments of tomorrow. We thank the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for recognizing the value a mastery-based program plays in preparing the educators of the future.”

The WW Academy, in collaboration with MIT, is reinventing teacher education for the 21st century. Teacher candidates progress through a problem-based, individualized, adaptive curriculum by mastering core teaching competencies. WW Academy students experience the challenge-based curriculum in a blended environment, including online and face-to-face learning. Candidates are also immersed in clinical settings in Boston-area public schools. Throughout their first two years of teaching they receive continued mentoring and professional development.

The WW Academy’s efforts are built, in part, on the Foundation’s ongoing efforts in teacher and education leader preparation. Currently, the Foundation partners with five states—Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, and Ohio—to offer the WW Teaching Fellowships. Working with 28 universities in those states, the Foundation is redesigning teacher education to center on a master’s degree program that integrates a yearlong clinical experience and three years of mentoring.

To date, the Amgen Foundation, Bezos Family Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Nellie Mae Education Foundation, Simons Foundation, and several anonymous major donors have supported the development of the WW Academy.

Contact: Patrick Riccards, 703-298-8283, [email protected] 

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SOURCE Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation

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