Tuition-Free Fellowship Program – Complete with Stipends and Health Insurance
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Tuition-Free Fellowship Program – Complete with Stipends and Health Insurance

Only 20 percent of Connecticut fourth graders from minority, poor or otherwise disadvantaged backgrounds are reading at grade level. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the state ranks 50th in the nation in closing the achievement gap. To address this gap and promote social equity, Fairfield University announces a cutting-edge Reading and Language Development program that will prepare current PreK-3 teachers to become master reading teachers, providing their students with skills critical to their educational futures.

Administered through the University’s Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions (GSEAP), the certificate of advanced study (CAS) in Reading and Language Development is now accepting part-time students for Fall 2015. A select group of 10 fulltime students currently teaching in partner school districts will be accepted for the new Anne E. Fowler Literacy Fellowship (AFLF) program. Fellows will receive tuition, a living stipend and health insurance, and take a one-year leave to study full time and complete the CAS program.

The University, in partnership with the Anne E. Fowler Foundation, created the fellowship to prepare teachers to significantly raise literacy levels among low-performing elementary school populations. The fellowships will be awarded annually beginning in September 2015, and are funded, in part, by a gift from the North Haven, Conn.-based Fowler Foundation and a grant from The Grossman Family Foundation of Cos Cob, Conn.

“We’ve long known that reading deficits manifest very early in a student’s life,” said Robert Hannafin, Ph.D., GSEAP dean. “If not remediated, these deficits prevent students from learning increasingly complex – yet foundational – concepts, thus widening the achievement gap. We are very excited that the ‘Fowler Fellows’ will have the tools and support necessary to make a difference with these neediest of learners.”

The University is well positioned to provide this support. Already housed at Fairfield is the Connecticut Writing Project, which is dedicated to strengthening the teaching and learning of writing for both students and teachers. These programs together offer a unique, comprehensive approach to reading and language development.

“Fairfield has been chosen to take the lead in this important work because of the very high standards that we have established for teacher training, and our existing commitment to literacy training and teacher mentorship in our neighboring communities,” said University President Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J. “Educating our youth and giving them what they need to reach their full potential is the most effective way to ensure a brighter future for all of us.”

The Anne E. Fowler Literacy Fellows program, named for the late Haskins Laboratories reading researcher and co-author of Connecticut's Blueprint for Reading Achievement, will recruit teachers initially from Bridgeport, Norwalk, Stamford, East Haven, West Haven and other partner disctricts.

Applications for the Fowler Fellowship are due by June 5. Applications for the part-time program will be reviewed through July for fall 2015. 

For more information on the program, contact Dr. David Zera at, Dr. Anne Campbell at or visit

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Last modified: Fri, 22 May 2015 10:26:35 EDT

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