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About the Institute

What is the White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellowship? Named for William S. White, Richard W. Riley and Terry K. Peterson, the White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellowship is a ten-month learning experience offered by the Riley Institute at Furman in partnership with the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. Grounded in deep discussion of actual case studies and led by policy change-makers, the Fellowship equips graduates with a real world understanding of the art and science of policy-making for afterschool and expanded learning. Fellows work closely with their afterschool networks and network leads to build capacity, ensure statewide connectivity, and assist in advancing the public interest policy agenda of the network. In states where no network exists, participants will work to help develop one.

What are the White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellowship’s desired outcomes? Through participation in the
Fellowship, professionals are empowered and equipped to assume pivotal roles in:

  • maintaining and growing 21st Century Community Learning Center funds for expanded learning and afterschool
  • establishing state funding mechanisms, state funding streams, and state priorities to support expanded learning and afterschool

What will my organization gain? Organizations gain strategic capacity and are better positioned to participate effectively in local, state and national policy arenas. States will benefit from the strategic alliances and greater coordination in policy efforts built through each fellow’s in-state work. National networks will form among fellows and organizations through their work with the White-Riley-Peterson cohort, which includes professionals from across the nation.

Who is eligible to participate? Policy fellows are chosen from nominees drawn from a broad national cross-section of individuals and entities who can work closely with the state afterschool networks and/or the Afterschool Alliance to change education policy from a variety of positions. The goal is to create a critical mass and network of culturally and ethnically diverse individuals capable of advancing policy at the national, state and local levels. Fellows will have varying combinations of professional expertise and policy experience.

How is the Fellowship structured? Fellows’ learning experiences center on an intensive week-long workshop in Greenville, South Carolina, to be held each autumn. Following the week-long workshop, fellows will work in their home states within their afterschool and expanded learning communities to build personal policy plans and participate in a series of online sessions and small-group conference calls, culminating in individual virtual presentations in the spring.

How is the curriculum organized? A case study-driven curriculum, presented  and facilitated by policy
change-makers and supported by nationally prominent professors of policy and politics, is employed to accommodate a range of fellows’ experience and knowledge. The curriculum was developed in partnership with a national advisory committee, chaired by Dr. Terry Peterson and including experts from the Afterschool Alliance, State Afterschool Networks, and the Council of Chief State School Officers. A lead facilitator, Ron Fairchild, President and CEO of Smarter Learning Group, ties all of the learnings together and works closely with Fellows during the year to help them develop their individual policy plans.

What is the cost? Through a generous grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the White-Riley- Peterson Policy Fellowship is nearly free of charge to participants.  This includes expenses associated with travel to South Carolina, and lodging and meals during the October workshop. Note: Fellows are strongly encouraged to attend the National Network of State Afterschool Networks conference usually held in late January or early Februrary and the Afterschool for All Challenge in Washington, D.C. usually in April or May, though these expenses will not be covered through the Fellowship. It is anticipated that Fellows will become integral participants in the work of their respective state networks and participate in these conferences.

How can I nominate? Nominations can be made by state afterschool network leads and the Afterschool Alliance through May 15th, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. Click here for the nomination form. Visit to learn more.

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The Center for Education Policy and Leadership (CEPL) is part of the Richard W. Riley Institute at Furman 
a nonpartisan institute for politics, public policy and public leadership affiliated with the
department of political science at Furman University.