The Ascend Graduate Fellowship

If you’re graduating from college this summer or are a professional seeking to become a teacher, become an Ascend Graduate Teaching Fellow.

Program overview

This two-year program follows a gradual release model. Join in the summer in time for Ascend’s four-week New Teacher Institute, and begin with a part-time teaching load in your first year. As you develop essential skills and build your confidence you will gradually assume more teaching responsibility, and in your second year, take on your own classroom and a full teaching load.

Earn your Master of Arts in Teaching

Through the rigorous and highly-regarded Relay Graduate School of Education—an institution founded by leading educators from high-performing charter networks and Teach For America—you will earn a Master of Arts in Teaching upon completion of your two-year Ascend Graduate Fellowship.

As a member of Relay’s program, you will attend classes at Relay’s campus and online while teaching at an Ascend school. Ascend covers a substantial portion of the cost of your master’s education at Relay and your New York State teaching certification exams.

Ascend Graduate Fellows earn a competitive full-time salary with benefits throughout the two-year Fellowship.

Schedule and components

The Ascend Graduate Fellowship is a two-year program that allows you to start your career in an intellectually stimulating, collaborative environment, teaching at one of Ascend’s 15 high-performing public charter schools, all while earning a full-time salary and a master’s degree from the Relay Graduate School of Education.

Fellow responsibilities


  • Develop content knowledge and teaching skill by attending Ascend’s New Teacher Institute in the summer before you begin, and weekly Teacher Planning and Development meetings throughout the year with your grade team.
  • Build your pedagogical expertise through weekly professional development sessions with school staff.
  • Refine instruction and management skills through weekly Deliberate Practice sessions at Relay.
  • Earn a Master of Arts in Teaching by attending weekly and monthly Content and Core sessions at Relay’s campus and online, maintaining a passing grade point average.


  • Observe, assist, or co-teach the same group of students at least one period every day, with your mentor teacher.
  • Teach a full lesson independently at least one period per week.
  • Create a lesson plan for your independent lesson and revise based on feedback from your mentor teacher.
  • Apply teaching strategies based on Relay’s “Gradual On-Ramp Into Teaching” curriculum.
  • Assist your mentor teacher facilitate classroom activities, tutor small groups, develop homework assignments, grade assessments, analyze student data, create plans for remediation, and take on non-classroom activities.


  • Engage in regular self-evaluation, and receive weekly feedback from your mentor teacher.
  • Gradually take on more teaching responsibilities, based on formal evaluations over the course of the school year.

Candidate criteria

Candidates must earn a bachelor’s degree by July 1, 2020; for those aspiring to teach in middle and high school, the degree will ideally be in the subject area in which you hope to teach.

After submitting a resume, a personal profile, and responses to short answer questions through our application portal, applicants may be invited to participate in a multi-round interview process.

Application process

Each application round includes an online application, a phone or video interview, and an on-site group interview at Ascend.

The application for the 2020 Graduate Fellowship is not yet open. Sign up to connect with our team and receive updates on future fellowship application rounds.

Frequently asked questions

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    May I apply if I am not a recent grad?

    Yes, we welcome college graduates who may be career changers.

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    Must I complete a master's degree?

    Receiving your master’s degree and certification from the Relay Graduate School of Education at the end of two years is an integral part of our fellowship program. We have carefully selected Relay because we have confidence that their program will prepare new teachers for a full-time teaching position at Ascend through both theoretical and practical learning.

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    Must I be certified to participate in the fellowship?

    No. As a Graduate Fellow you will apply for, and receive certification at the end of your two years with Relay.

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    Am I able to select the grade and subject I will teach?

    We will place you based on your preference, your academic background, and our schools’ needs. Once you have started working in your assigned school, grade, and content area, your team will work with you to assess your comfort level in that position.

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    In what city will I be placed?

    Ascend Graduate Fellows will be placed in one of Ascend’s 15 schools in the Central Brooklyn neighborhoods of Brownsville, Bushwick, Canarsie, East Flatbush, East Brooklyn, Cypress Hills, and Lefferts Gardens.

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    Is this a paid position?

    Yes. Graduate Fellows are paid a full-time salary, and a significant portion of the cost of the Relay Master of Arts in Teaching program is covered by Ascend.

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    Do I need to be an education major?

    No. A major in education or prior teaching experience is not required for admission to the program. Rather, we are looking for intellectually passionate college graduates or college juniors who have pursued rigorous studies in an academic discipline (including the humanities, the natural and social sciences, and mathematics) and are excited by the prospect of remaking urban education.

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    What grade level will I be teaching?

    Graduate Fellows may be placed in any classroom from grades K-12. You will be able to indicate your grade level preference on the application.

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