FAQs

Overview

I accepted an offer with KIPP for the Graduate Teaching Fellowship. Am I automatically enrolled into the Relay Graduate School of Education?

Your offer from KIPP is contingent upon successfully being admitted to the Relay Graduate School of Education. In order to be admitted to Relay, you must submit your application and all supporting documentation (including official, hard-copy, degree-conferred transcripts from all institutions attended) by the application deadline. Because we review all candidates’ unofficial transcripts, you should be admitted into Relay’s program without issue unless you fail to complete your admissions application on time or your official transcripts differ from your unofficial transcripts. Click here for more information about applying to Relay. The Relay application for the cohort beginning in summer 2017 will be available in February 2017.

When does the Graduate Teaching Fellowship program begin?

The program begins with a two-week in-person summer session (July 17th) and you are not paid during the two-week summer session. Your employment with KIPP begins in early August and you will receive your first paycheck on August 20th. 

Am I a full-time teacher my first year?

You are a full-time employee, but will not be the lead teacher in your first year. You share a classroom with a strong, experienced teacher who gradually gives you more teaching responsibilities in the classroom. In your second year, you are the lead teacher of record in your own classroom.  

When do I attend graduate classes with Relay?

Throughout both years of the program, Fellows will attend three in-person graduate classes each month: two on a weeknight and one on a Saturday. Fellows will also complete an average of 8-10 hours of online coursework each month and submit assessments. During the first year of the program, Fellows will also attend a weekly, three-hour, in-person Deliberate Practice session during the school day.

What is Deliberate Practice?

Practice is the most promising pathway to excellent teaching. Deliberate practice — that is, practice with a focus on the concrete and specific teaching skills that maximize impact in the classroom — is a cornerstone of the Fellowship experience. Fellows participate in weekly practice sessions, each lasting three hours, to develop and refine their teaching skills. Fellows are released from their teaching responsibilities and join Relay faculty and other Fellows from the region for these sessions.

What happens if I leave the program before the two-year commitment?

If you leave the program prior to finishing the two years, you will not have completed all the requirements for your Master of Arts in Teaching degree or Texas teacher certification so you will not earn a degree or certification from Relay. Additionally, you owe KIPP Houston $1,500 in tuition reimbursement for the upfront tuition KIPP pays on our Fellows’ behalf. 

When am I expected to pay tuition?

The Relay master’s program costs $17,000 each year, but thanks to the generosity of our donors, KIPP, and the support of AmeriCorps, Fellows will pay only $6,500 out of pocket. Tuition will be billed by term in the second year of the program (Summer 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019). Relay also offers payment plans and Fellows may apply for federal unsubsidized student loans.

Certification

What certification areas does Relay Graduate School of Education offer?

Within the Relay Alternative Certification Program (ACP), you may pursue certification in one of the following areas: 

  • Core Subjects EC - 6
  • Core Subjects 4 - 8
  • English Language Arts & Reading 7 - 12
  • Mathematics 7 - 12
  • Science 7 - 12
  • Social Studies 7 - 12
I am currently enrolled in an Alternative Certification Program in Texas. Will this be an issue?

If you have already passed a TExES content exam in a certification area offered by Relay, you can transfer to the Relay ACP. In most cases, certification training hours or requirements completed in another ACP program will not transfer to Relay. If you have not already passed an appropriate TExES content exam, you will need to do so prior to admission to the Relay ACP. Please email houston@relay.edu (include your TEA ID number) with questions.

What if I already have a teaching certificate in Texas or another state?

You can still be a KIPP Houston Graduate Teaching Fellow and pursue your Master of Arts in Teaching at Relay, if you already hold a standard certificate in Texas or are planning to transfer your certification from out-of-state to Texas. 

Selection Process

What does an interview day look like for a candidate?

An interview day includes an information session, a tour of one of our schools, lunch with our students, a group activity, Q&A session with a current KIPP Fellow, and two separate interviews with leaders from KIPP and Relay.

I currently live out of state. Does KIPP provide travel reimbursement for the interview day?

For candidates traveling more than 250 miles to Houston, KIPP Houston will reimburse up to $350 for the cost of travel to be used to be used for plane tickets, hotel, public transportation, and/or rental cars. In order to receive a reimbursement, you must provide all copies of itemized receipts. Reimbursements can take up to three or four weeks depending on when the reimbursement is submitted.

As a teacher, can I apply for the fellowship program?

The Fellowship is designed for aspiring teachers who do not have any lead teaching experience. If you have been a teacher in your own classroom for a year or longer, you are not eligible for this program. If you have student teaching, tutoring, substitute teaching experience, or did not complete a full year of lead teaching, you are still qualified for this Fellowship.

Fellow Placement

How are fellows placed?

Fellows can be placed at any KIPP Houston school in a PreK-4th grade classroom, or in a secondary math, English, science, or social studies classroom. Placements are determined by school need, Fellow Advisor availability, and Fellow preferences. Priority for placement preferences (content, grade level, and location) will be given to those who apply to the earlier deadlines. The earlier you apply, the more likely you receive a placement in your preferred content and grade level.  Applicants interested in becoming certified to teach high school English must apply by March 27, 2017.

When will I know my placement?

Once you accept an offer with KIPP, you will be given a generic placement (primary, middle, or a high school content area). Specific school, grade level, and subject placements will not be given until early June. 

Other

How do I go about obtaining housing and transportation in Houston?

It is the Fellow’s responsibility to find housing and transportation. Once you accept an offer with KIPP, you will be asked to fill out a preference survey and will have the option to connect with other Fellows looking for a roommate. We highly recommend you have your own private mode of transportation as Houston is a large city without a strong public transportation system. We suggest you have your housing and transportation secured prior to the summer session. Fellows who accept an offer will receive more advice and information about moving to Houston.

Are relocation stipends provided for the Graduate Teaching Fellowship?

KIPP Houston does not provide relocation stipends for the Graduate Teaching Fellowship.

If I receive an offer with the Graduate Teaching Fellowship, when do I have to make my final decision?

We typically ask our candidates to make a decision a week after receiving their offer. 

I'm currently in a MAT program, can I transfer my credits?

Graduate students in the Relay Graduate School of Education's Master of Arts in Teaching program follow an intentionally designed, spiraled curriculum that addresses the needs of beginning teachers in concert with the Fellowship experience. Relay does not accept transfer credits from other institutions.