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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

TOSA/Fellows Program

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[PDF] 2019-2020 Graduate Teaching Fellow Application (427 KiB) 

Teacher-on-Special-Assignment Program


The Teacher-on-Special-Assignment (TOSA)/Graduate Teaching Fellowship Program is built on the foundation of improving teacher candidate performance as well as K-12 student achievement. Since its inception in 1988, this program’s on-going years of success is becoming known regionally and nationally as an exemplar in P-20 resource sharing and innovation.

Program Purpose:

 The TOSA/Teaching Fellow program aims to meet the needs of partner districts and the University by releasing P-12 master teachers from their classroom duties for a minimum of three years to work directly between the University and the partnering school district. In place of the master teacher, a newly licensed teacher assumes full classroom teaching responsibilities in the school district and receives a premier Fellowship at the University to pursue a graduate program.


The Model at a Glance: Resource Sharing

Traditionally the TOSA’s time is split 50% to the University as a liaison and 50% to the school district to lead/assist with ongoing initiatives. In this model, the resource sharing between the school district and the University is as follows:

For a district providing one TOSA:
  • University pays 65% toward the cost of the Graduate Teaching Fellowship
  • School district pays 35% toward the cost of the Graduate Teaching Fellowship
For a district providing more than one TOSA:
  • University pays 35% toward the cost of the Graduate Teaching Fellowship
  • The School District pays 65% toward the cost of the Graduate Teaching Fellowship.
Additional TOSA Benefits:
  • Remain on district contract for 1.0 FTE
  • Salaries plus Benefits (maintain current lane/step on district contract)
  • Professional development experiences from the University at no charge to the district
Additional Fellowship Benefits:
  • Cost: Stipend ($24,500) + Graduate Credit (18 credits - approximately $7,000) = $31,500
  • Advising and support services from the University during graduate school experience
  • Inclusion in the district's "new teacher support/mentoring" program


The Model at a Glance: Benefits that span P-20

In addition to mentoring their replacement Graduate Teaching Fellows, TOSAs assume a half-time University role:

  • Advancing the Professional Development School model
  • Teaching courses in the College of Education
  • Leading seminars in best practices along with University faculty
  • Supervising teacher candidates
  • Working in partnership with the Office of Field and International Experience to help coordinate pre-service placements in P-12 schools
  • Leading the development of new teacher induction programs in their districts
  • Providing leadership for curriculum development, staff development, and/or assessment and research within their home district for the remainder of the appointment