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Curriculum and Instruction News

Alum Westphal named a Woodrow Wilson MBA Fellow in Education Leadership

June 17, 2016

UW-Madison alumnus Ben Westphal was selected as a 2016-17 Woodrow Wilson Wisconsin MBA Fellow in Education Leadership.

This fellowship program was launched in 2014 in partnership with the Milwaukee School of Engineering to develop a new model in education leader preparation, equipping graduates to head changing 21st century schools across the state.

The Woodrow Wilson Wisconsin MBA blends clinical practice in schools with innovative business school coursework to ensure graduates have the knowledge, skills and character not only to guide schools and districts in a new kind of education environment, but also to close achievement gaps between America’s lowest- and highest-performing schools, and between the country’s top-performing schools and those around the world.

Ben Westphal
Westphal received his bachelor’s degree in secondary education-biology from the School of Education in 1996. He is currently a science teacher, science department chair, and instructional coach at Brookfield (Wisconsin) East High School.

According to a news release announcing this year’s fellows, the Woodrow Wilson MBA Fellowship in Education Leadership recruits and prepares experienced educators who will take a full year of executive-style MBA courses. The program is offered through MSOE’s Rader School of Business and is equivalent in rigor to traditional MBA programs. It is designed to prepare leaders who will create school cultures to drive innovation, expand the use of analytics and evidence-based practices, raise student performance to international levels, foster citizens of good character, and improve the quality of school systems and teaching over time. Each Fellow is selected from a highly competitive pool of nominees.

Unlike programs that recruit career changers from other fields to work in schools, the news release continues, the Woodrow Wilson MBA Fellowship requires that candidates be current educators who are nominated by Wisconsin school districts, as well as choice and charter schools. Fellows are selected based on key characteristics of effective leaders and will be experienced with the culture of schools to be able to help transform them from within. Each receives a $50,000 stipend that includes tuition assistance for the master’s program, along with executive coaching. In exchange, Fellows will serve in leadership roles in identified districts/schools for at least three years.
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