Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership



2016-17 Kenan Fellows

Application and Selection

The cohort of 2016-17 Kenan Fellows was chosen through a competitive application process from 128 applications submitted from 39 school districts. The 41 Fellows selected from this group represent 13 North Carolina counties, one of which (Anson) was new to the program. Four of the Fellows comprised the Biogen Foundation Teacher Leader Cluster (TLC) in Greene County, a pilot program designed to increase impact within a single school district.

Projects and Partners

Each of the 41 Fellows in the 2016-17 cohort completed a 3-5 week internship with a mentor in a STEM research or applied STEM setting. They also completed 80 hours of professional development provided through two Professional Development Institutes and 24 hours of personalized independent learning that they each selected from a menu of approved options. The independent study choices ranged from an on-line data literacy course to a two-day, in-person Education Policy Summit. The Biogen Foundation was the Lead Champion of the Institutes and the Policy Summit. They were also the funding partner, along with Greene County Schools, for the TLC pilot. A complete list of the funding universities, museums, and industries that provide support for the KFP by hosting/mentoring Fellows in an internship are critical partners; these are listed at


The NCSU Friday Institute conducts the KFP annual program evaluation. In addition to this external evaluation, the KFP gathers data regarding the impact that the current cohort of Fellows is having on students, teachers, and other key stakeholders. The impact data reported here reflect activities that occurred between June 1, 2016 and February 27, 2017. Download a PDF of the data sheet.

Student engagement is one of the most important ways that the KFP measures impact. Based on reports from the cohort of 2016-17, more than 1,200 K-12 students were engaged in lessons that were designed through the Kenan Fellowship, or experienced new instructional strategies that Fellows learned through professional development sessions. In addition, Fellows reported that these students demonstrated a much higher degree of engagement than when were involved in typical lessons or instructional practices.

Presentations conducted in venues beyond the classroom allowed Fellows to connect with other stakeholders/audiences. Parents, school administrators, teachers and others were among the more than 1400 individuals to whom the 2016-17 cohort made presentations.

New Initiatives

Journal of Interdisciplinary Teacher Leadership (JoITL)
In 2015-16, the KFP launched a scholarly journal for K-12 educators, administrators, and researchers from both formal and informal education settings. Although the journal reaches across disciplines, it focuses on the interdisciplinary nature of STEM and teachers as leaders. The journal publishes original work on research, best practices, professional learning, and leadership in K-12 education. The first edition was published online in July 2016 and the second in January 2017. As JoITL is an open access journal, the KFP has the advantage of being able to use a free journal management and publishing system. The disadvantage is that there is limited flexibility in formatting and layout. At present, the emphasis is on soliciting high quality articles and increasing readership. When goals are met in these areas, the KFP will consider transitioning to a more sophisticated publishing platform.