FAQs: The Co-Design Fellowship

The Co-designing with Families and Communities Fellowship is an unparalleled opportunity for systems leaders to engage local partners in educational justice and community well-being. Have questions about the fellowship? Below, find the answers to some commonly asked questions:

Are you seeking teams or individuals? Teams are at the heart of this fellowship’s design, so if you’re an individual interested in participating, talk to your colleagues about joining together as a team. We cannot accept applications from individuals. We also encourage individuals to apply as part of a team at the district, state, tribal, or regional level.

I work at an educational service agency (ESA). Can a team from my agency apply? Yes! We welcome teams from all levels of the education systems in Alaska, Oregon, and Washington, from individual districts to ESAs and SEAs, from early childhood through high school. The fellowship will not support higher education-focused teams this year, although P-12 systems with university-based partners are welcome. Your team only needs to represent one system level: district, tribal, state, or regional.

Our team is small. Can we still apply? Yes! The number of people on your team may vary depending on your context. Every team should have two to four systems-focused educational leaders. The beginning of the fellowship will support you in recruiting five to seven additional educators, youth, family members, or community members to join your full team. We will prioritize applicants with existing relationships or partnerships in the selection process.

Do I need to have my entire team assembled to apply? No. Applying teams should have identified at least two systems-focused educational leaders, but the first phase of the program is designed to help you build your team by recruiting additional educators, youth, families, and community members.

Can students be a part of my team? Yes! We encourage teams to include a mix of students, families, and community members, as appropriate. For example, we would not expect young children to be part of an early childhood-focused team.

Are there any fees associated with applying to or participating in the fellowship? Not only is there no fee to participate in this program, all teams will receive coaching and resources for free as part of the fellowship — a $50,000 value. Teams will receive funding to enhance existing resources to stipend youth, family, and community participation, to offset staff participation outside of the regular workday, and to provide transportation and other materials.

Will the fellowship be virtual or in-person? While you are welcome to gather your team in-person to participate in sessions, fellowship convenings will be held virtually. However, each team will be responsible for facilitating additional co-design sessions outside the fellowship convenings. These gatherings will take place roughly once per month during the academic year, and you may choose to gather in-person or virtually according to the schedules and priorities of your local team.

What is the time commitment for team members? Selected fellowship leaders are already investing time and effort into practices aimed at educational justice. Therefore, the fellowship is designed to fit within a leader’s current scope of work, but with enhanced support for the co-design process. Past leadership teams have shared that they spend three to five hours a week on community partnering, internal system sharing, facilitating co-designing with the fellowship team, and consultant coaching time.

Here is an example of a past fellowship team’s initiative with approximate commitment hours:

  • Youth; parent, guardian, or caretaker; or school-based staff:  15 – 20 hours total between October 2023 and May 2024
  • System-focused leaders:  12 hours per month between June 2023 and May 2024

Still have questions? Watch the recording of our information session or drop us a line at meganm@serrc.org, and we’ll get you the information you’re looking for.

Published May 4, 2023

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