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North Carolina-West EPFP
North Carolina-West EPFP Coordinator
      North Carolina-West EPFP Site Sponsoring Organization
Jennifer Wilson-Kearse (EPFP 10-11)
Executive Director, NCACHE
Appalachian State University

More about Jennifer


Visit North Carolina-West EPFP's website to apply

The North Carolina Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP) is affiliated with the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) in Washington, DC, and has existed in North Carolina since 1979. The Public School Forum of North Carolina has been the host of the program since 1991. EPFP is a leadership and policy development program for mid-career professionals who work in public, private, and nonprofit institutions in education, health and human services, business, community development, and other areas. Participants in EPFP share a common interest in education and a belief in its power to shape the lives of individual North Carolinians and their communities.

Since its inception in 1979, North Carolina EPFP has graduated over 700 Fellows.



Each class takes a cohort of Fellows on a journey to better understand the history and structure of education policy and policymaking in North Carolina, engage in leadership development, and grapple with specific issues affecting students, families, and educators in an informed and collegial environment. Through the program, Fellows increase their awareness of how public policy is made, learn whom the key players are in the formation of policy, and become more confident and involved exercising leadership and wielding influence in the policy-making process. Participants are carefully selected by their sponsoring institutions and the EPFP program to capture a range of professional experiences and viewpoints.

Fellows become part of an extensive, rich network of EPFP alumni who live and work in North Carolina and other states. Even after the Fellowship year, Fellows continue to have opportunities to interact in formal and informal settings with the many practitioners and policymakers who have served EPFP as staff, speakers, and supporters over the years. EPFP alumni have become some of the most passionate advocates for the program and regularly sponsor new Fellows year after year.

NC-W EPFP is made possible through a U.S. Department of Education GEAR UP grant awarded to Appalachian State University. GEAR UP is a national initiative designed to increase the number of low-income students prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. Those who live or work in the following counties may apply to NC-W EPFP: Alleghany, Ashe, Burke, Clay, Graham, Madison, Rutherford, Swain, Watauga, Wilkes, and Yancey. For those in other counties, please see the general North Carolina EPFP site for more information and to apply.

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