1. I applied last year. Do I need to submit another application?
Yes, you must submit a 2018 application to be considered for this year’s cohort. The application process changed from last year, and the application form captures different information.
2. Can someone outside my district complete the recommendation form for my application?
No, the recommendation form must be completed and signed by an administrator employed by your school district. Having the support of your district if you are selected as a fellow is critical to your success.
3. Do I have to complete the entire application at one time?
No. You can return to the survey and finish up to a month later. Please keep in mind that April 1, 2018, is the deadline. Qualtrics, the system we use to host the application, has a Save and Continue function that works as long as the respondent returns to the survey on the same computer, uses the same web browser, and has not cleared their browser cookies. If your application times out and closes before you are able to complete it, please email Kathy.Zarate@austin.utexas.edu.
4. After completing the application, what are the next steps?
Texas OnCourse staff will review all applications. Applicants selected for the next round will be notified by April 6th. The second round will consist of an online interview with Texas OnCourse staff.
5. Can I submit a letter of recommendation instead of the recommendation form?
No. Letters of recommendation will not be considered. Applicants must use the recommendation form created by Texas OnCourse. If you are unable to download the required form, please email Kathy.Zarate@austin.utexas.edu to request the form.
1. I advise students at an institution of higher education. Am I eligible for the fellowship?
No. The Texas OnCourse Leader Fellows program is only open to counselors and advisers working at secondary schools.
2. I work at a charter school. Am I eligible for the fellowship?
Yes. Counselors and advisers working for charter schools are eligible to apply.
3. I work as a middle school counselor. Am I eligible?
Yes. Middle school counselors are eligible to apply.
Leader Fellow and District Responsibilities
1. If selected as a fellow, what would my responsibilities be?
Fellows participate in a variety of activities related to the three main goals of the Fellow Program: connecting students, parents, and educators to our resources; serving as college and career advising content experts; and sharing feedback on Texas OnCourse resources.
Fellows present on Texas OnCourse resources, host office hours sessions, write blog articles, moderate discussion boards in the Texas OnCourse Academy, organize feedback sessions, participate in monthly webinars, and attend two in-person trainings a year.
Fellows also document their activities on a quarterly basis and submit to the fellows coordinator.
2. Who pays for travel expenses to attend the required in-person trainings hosted by Texas OnCourse?
Texas OnCourse will arrange and pay for travel to the in-person trainings required for the fellowship.
3. I am not available on June 21–22, 2018, to attend to the first in-person training. Can I apply and make it up later if selected as a fellow?
If selected as a fellow, you must attend the training on June 21–22, 2018. The dates cannot be rescheduled, and the training cannot be made up at a later date.
4. What is the time commitment for this fellowship?
This is a two-year fellowship requiring approximately 50 hours per semester. Most activities can take place outside of the work day. Many activities coincide with a counselor or adviser’s responsibilities, such as presenting at a training event that the fellow would attend in their role as a counselor/adviser.
5. If selected as a fellow, what would my district’s responsibilities be?
Districts are asked to work with their fellow to allow them to participate in the program. Fellows should coordinate with their districts and supervisors to determine when a fellow needs to take time off to perform fellow activities that may occur during the day. Fellows’ districts are eligible to receive a $5,000 stipend over the two-year fellowship period. This is a separate stipend from the fellows’ stipends. Districts are asked to sign an agreement to use the stipend funds for college and career advising activities.
6. How does the fellow’s stipend work?
Fellows will receive quarterly payments of $1,250, totaling no more than $10,000 during the two-year fellowship, and must enter into a work-for-hire agreement with the University of Texas at Austin. Fellows must submit documentation each quarter in order to receive their stipend. Hours are not directly tied to the stipend. However, fellows completing a low number of hours will need to create a performance improvement plan with the Fellows Coordinator.
Selection of Fellows
1. How many fellows will be selected for the second cohort?
Twenty fellows will be selected for the second cohort.
2. If my district already has a fellow, will new fellow applicants from my district be considered for this second cohort?
Yes, we will consider all applicants, as other applicants in the same district may bring different skills to the table.
3. What makes an applicant competitive?
Competitive applicants will demonstrate that they have strong communication skills (written and oral), dedication to promoting college and career readiness in students, experience with direct student advising on college and career, comfort with demonstrating online platforms, and the ability to organize feedback sessions with students, parents, and educators.
Please email Kathy.Zarate@austin.utexas.edu if you have any additional questions.