Becoming an A+ Fellow


A+ Fellows Spring Planning Meeting

A+ Fellows are professionals who conduct professional development for A+ schools and partner organizations. Because A+ professional development is based on a strong practitioner model, the Fellows are leaders in the arts and in education. Our current cadre of Fellows is comprised of practicing classroom teachers, arts and special area teachers, administrators, artists and writers. As a group, they represent the varied perspectives of the school community and the community at large, and include teaching artists, school-based educators and administrators, district level leaders and higher education faculty.

Many of the A+ Fellows are currently teachers in A+ schools, and others work in non–A+ schools or in the community at large. Using this model for professional development allows A+ Fellows to continually practice what they teach and teach what they practice.

A+ Fellows enter the network as apprentices (potential Fellows) with a wide range of expertise and experience and are asked to serve in this “developmental apprenticeship” role for one year, observing and assisting fellows as they conduct professional development. During this first year, Apprentice Fellows consider how their particular strengths might be used and what areas they need to develop. Fellows are then assigned to work on teams that allow them to use their expertise.

Steps to Becoming an A+ Fellow

Our Apprentice Fellows cohort is selected biennially. We have completed the selection of the 2018 A+ Apprentice Fellows cohort. The next selection process will begin in January 2020. For more information about the process, please contact Michelle Burrows, Program Director, at michelle.burrows@ncdcr.gov.  

1) Contact the A+ Schools Program Director Michelle Burrows  to express your interest: Email michelle.burrows@ncdcr.gov or call (919) 807-6503. Most A+ Fellows come to us through the recommendation of a current A+ Fellow, a N.C. Arts Council staff member, an administrator in an A+ school, or an A+ friend.

2) All potential Fellows are required to sumbit the following materials (next deadline is January 2020):

  • Cover letter
  • Completed application form
  • Letter of recommendation from a principal, supervisor, current A+ Fellow or N.C. Arts Council staff member
  • Current resume
  • A video showing the applicant teaching students or adults (uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo with link provided)

3) Attend initial information session, by invitation, in February 2020. Determine if being an A+ Fellow sounds right for you. We’ll be determining if you are a good fit for current A+ needs.

4) Attend two days of Apprentice Fellows’ training, by invitation, in the spring of 2020. Process, ask questions, reflect, explore your expertise and areas for growth. Determine if A+ is still a good fit for you. We will do the same.

5) Become an Apprentice Fellow, by invitation. Attend the Spring A+ Fellows Planning Meeting in 2020, in Raleigh.

6) “Shadow” veteran A+ Fellows during the summer A+ Conferences and Institutes and onsite professional development, observing, assisting and questioning.

7) Enjoy the opportunity to “sit on your expertise” while observing A+ processes. Reflect and grow along the way to becoming an A+ Fellow.

Each Apprentice Fellow is invited to become an A+ Fellow on an individualized time frame. Some Apprentice Fellows move quickly into the Fellows role, while others take longer to build their understanding, comfort and experience.

Helpful Documents

Apprentice A+ Fellows Application
Becoming an A+ Fellow
Characteristics of A+ Fellows
A+ Fellows: Q & A

Applications for the spring 2020 cohort of potential Apprentice Fellows will be accepted in January 2020.