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Cahn Fellows Program

The Cahn Fellows Program for Distinguished Public School Principals at Teachers College, Columbia University (Cahn Fellows Program) is a national fellowship for principals from New York City, Chicago, Newark, NJ and Charlotte, NC. The program aims to strengthen public school systems by investing in its most effective school leaders through best-in-class leadership and professional development.

Since 2003, the Cahn Fellows Program has admitted an annual cohort of 20-25 principals. The Fund’s investment expanded the cohort to include eight Chicago principals for its 2016-17 cohort and seven principals for its 2017-18 cohort, up from the one to two that the program typically accepted in previous cohorts.

Through the 15-month program, each Fellow chooses an “ally” – an assistant principal or teacher who aspires to be a principal – to participate in the program with them. Fellows and their allies attend an intensive summer institute in New York, weekend retreats and faculty study groups. Teachers College faculty conduct regular visits to each Fellow’s school to offer on-the-ground support. Additionally, each Fellow implements a leadership project over a period of nine months.

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