Applications for the 2020 fellowship have closed.
Access to technology and the skills to use it are not luxuries — they are essential for a community’s survival. While this has been true for a long time, the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically moved digital equity into mainstream consciousness.
People need to move their lives online — from distance learning to telehealth — but many underserved communities lack home broadband, devices, and digital literacy skills. Consequently, existing gaps in services have been exacerbated. Digital inclusion is crucial, and by supporting local communities in accessing the resources they need, we can make massive strides in combating the growing inequities.
The Digital Inclusion Fellowship, launched in 2015 in partnership with Google Fiber, envisions a society where all people have a computer and internet connection at home that they can use to meet their goals. By providing training and connections to a national network of experts, the fellowship program supports local nonprofit leaders in creating and building effective programs that best serve their communities. Participating nonprofit staff receive a year of learning and coaching to launch or expand digital literacy programs.
Fellows in the year-long professional development cohort will develop digital literacy programs specifically suited to serve their communities. These programs may help:
- parents support their children’s online learning during school closures
- families connect with doctors at a time when in-person appointments pose a public safety risk
- job seekers achieve certifications, develop resumes, and search for jobs
- seniors use technology to communicate with loved ones
- adults access government information and programs
- entrepreneurs start or expand an online business
- participants acquire devices
Fellows join a year-long cohort-based program comprising:
- a comprehensive training program including orientation and monthly online training
- at least one full cohort gathering in person during the program year
- a project grant of up to $1,000 for Oregon and Cleveland fellows and $5,000 for fellows in all other cities (sponsored by Google Fiber),
- potential to earn the Digital Equity Professional Certificate
- cohort calls and check-ins with NTEN program staff
- support in designing and launching a new or expanded digital literacy program, as well as opportunities to speak at conferences and publish articles on NTEN’s blog.
The fellowship will connect you with a network of colleagues and content experts, develop your program design and project management skills, and position you as a digital inclusion leader. Most importantly, the fellowship program will guide you in supporting your community with access to technology and digital literacy skills.
- May 4: Applications open
- May 19: 11:00 am Pacific Time: Info session and Q&A for potential applicants
- May 31: Applications close (interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis)
- June 15: Accepted fellows notified
- July 7: Public announcement
- Late July/early August: Orientation online or in-person (in Portland, Oregon)
- Participate in orientation, which will require a commitment of four days (if in person) or 30-40 hours (if online). Should the orientation be feasible in person, then travel, lodging and related expenses are covered by NTEN.
- Craft a year-long project plan that includes both leadership and program goals, including serving a specific number of unique participants, instruction hours, trained volunteers, or other related service areas. These goals will be tracked by the fellow and reported to NTEN every month.
- The fellow, their supervisor, and NTEN staff will craft a set of tangible goals, including the number of individuals served, instruction time, and volunteers trained.
- Participate in monthly online training. The time commitment for these training sessions will range from 1 to 2.5 hours per month, depending on the training format.
- Participate in monthly cohort calls with all other Fellows. These calls will require one hour per month.
- Participate in a monthly 1-on-1 check-in with NTEN staff to discuss plans, progress, challenges, etc. These calls are 15 to 60 minutes long, and fellows are welcome to schedule additional calls to ensure they have the coaching and support they need.
The fellow must have ample time to fulfill their project plan and reach goals. Depending on the scope of the fellow’s project, the amount of time needed for the project to be successful may vary widely. The fellow must consult with their supervisor for approval on the scope of the plan and the estimated amount of time required to fulfill it. The supervisor must agree to align or reassign other duties to provide the fellow with the time necessary to complete the project successfully.
Who can apply?
All employees of nonprofits and social service agencies located in the areas listed below are invited to apply. Participation in the fellowship in one of the open cities does not have any cost to the organization other than your staff time; we do not provide a salary or additional staff stipends outside of travel and accommodations for training or other cohort events. If you are interested in participating but are located in a city not included below, please email us to learn more about your options for joining the cohort.
Successful Fellows will have a background in community work and program management, including experience providing regular reporting to outside partners or funders. Previous Fellows have worked in public libraries, housing authorities, adult literacy organizations, social services, workforce development, and digital inclusion organizations.
We seek Fellows who are engaged with and members of the communities they wish to serve. Familiarity with digital inclusion, digital literacy, and adult education is preferred but not necessary. Applicants must have the full support of their supervisor to commit a significant amount of time to this year-long, project-based fellowship. Fellows should be situated in a role that empowers them to manage the program and relevant partnerships closely.
If you have any questions about applying, please email us, and we will be happy to help you.
Sponsored Fellowship positions are available in the following cities. The sponsorship covers all costs associated with the fellowship.
- Austin, TX: 1 position (sponsored by Google Fiber)
- Cleveland, OH: 2 positions (sponsored by The Cleveland Foundation)
- Huntsville, AL: 1 position (sponsored by Google Fiber)
- Kansas City, MO: 1 position (filled) (sponsored by Google Fiber)
- Nashville, TN: 1 position (sponsored by Google Fiber)
- Oregon: 2 positions (sponsored by Meyer Memorial Trust)
- Provo, UT: 1 position (sponsored by Google Fiber)
- Salt Lake City, UT: 1 position (sponsored by Google Fiber)
- San Antonio, TX: 1 position (sponsored by Google Fiber)
Thank you to Google Fiber, The Cleveland Foundation, and Meyer Memorial Trust for sponsoring the Digital Inclusion Fellowship.
Applications for the 2020 fellowship have closed.
You can find two application forms below, one for the applicant and another for the applicant’s supervisor. Both forms must be submitted before the deadline, along with the potential fellow’s resume.
You may download a Word version of the forms to prepare your answers, but you must submit your answers via the online forms. Emailed applications will not be considered.
Does your supervisor need convincing? Check out our tips for making a case for digital inclusion.
This program is made possible by the generous support of our sponsors: Google Fiber, the Cleveland Foundation, and Meyer Memorial Trust. A special thank you goes out to our founding sponsor, Google Fiber. The Digital Inclusion Fellowship was conceived and launched in partnership with Google Fiber in 2015.