Digital Inclusion Fellowship FAQs

What is NTEN’s role in the Digital Inclusion Fellowship?

The Digital Inclusion Fellowship is an NTEN program. NTEN runs the Fellowship and is the primary point of contact for City Host organizations and Fellows. Prior to starting their work in the field, NTEN recruits and trains the Fellows. During the Fellowship year, NTEN is responsible for the end to end management of the program, including: operations, program management, and evaluation. Learn more about NTEN’s mission, history, and community.

What is Google Fiber’s role in the Digital Inclusion Fellowship?

Google Fiber and NTEN have worked closely to conceptualize and coordinate the Digital Inclusion Fellowship program. In addition to helping design the Digital Inclusion Fellowship and being a programmatic partner, Google Fiber is sponsoring the Fellowship. The sponsorship includes a salary for Fellows, a small grant for each city host, and support for NTEN’s educational training of the Fellows and administrative costs. Google Fiber’s local staff, such as the Community Impact Managers, will stay in touch with fellows throughout their year to find various ways to support their work.

How is the program funded?

Contributing more than $1MM, Google Fiber is the primary sponsor of this program. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is additionally funding two Fellowships in Charlotte, North Carolina for the first cohort, and Capital One is invested in the second cohort. NTEN is also looking for local funders, who share our commitment to digital inclusion, to match the small project grants provided to each City Host organization for their digital inclusion projects.

How will you measure success?

We will be closely tracking several measurements to determine the efficacy of individual projects and the program as a whole. These measurements map to our goals for the program:

  • Make progress on the digital divide: We recognize much of this work doesn’t happen overnight, but including mechanisms and metrics for evaluating progress that is possible will help identify successful strategies on the ground.
  • Build capacity at local community-based organizations: We are focused on sustainability which requires strategies and programs rooted in organizations already established in the community.
  • Increase local leadership and expertise: By focusing on fellows from local communities, we hope to increase the number of individuals and organizations that are advocates for digital inclusion policy and programs.
  • Support a national community: NTEN is certainly not the only organization invested in this work; we are committed to working with partners across the country to build a collaborative and strategic approach to tackling digital inclusion barriers.

How are City Hosts selected?

We work with our Digital Inclusion Advisory Board and our partners, including Google Fiber, to identify local community-based organizations that have the expertise, skill, and commitment to tackle the digital divide. These organizations are leaders in their community, have the ability to host and supervise a fellow for one year, and are willing to collaborate with other institutions, both locally and nationally. More specific criteria for City Host selection is noted in the City Host application process.

What do the Fellows do?

All fellows are focused on adult digital literacy. This program is unique because it has a hyper-local focus. Fellows are placed with community organizations that know the specific needs of their communities so that digital literacy programs, trainings, and services can align with those needs and opportunities.

When does the program begin? How long will it run?

The second cohort of the Digital Inclusion Fellowship began in July 2016 with a week-long digital inclusion training. Then, Fellows returned to their local organizations for one year to develop digital inclusion programs.

Will the Fellows be paid?

Yes! All of the Fellows will be full-time staff of their local organization. NTEN distributes to City Hosts financial coverages of both salaries and full benefits such as health coverage and vacation time. Fellow salaries are made public in the job descriptions.

What criteria does NTEN use to select the fellows?

Each city has its own unique set of challenges when it comes to bridging the digital divide. That’s why we look for Fellows who have strong roots in their community and who can create programs specifically tailored to their city’s needs. In general, Fellows should be passionate about helping underserved communities, have excellent communication skills, and have approximately 5-7 years of experience working with nonprofits or community organizations.

How do I learn more and get involved?

If you are interested in sharing your experience or expertise, participating in educational programs, or staying informed of this work, you can sign up or let us know. To learn more about the Digital Inclusion Fellowship, download this program overview.

Where can I learn more about digital inclusion?

If you’d like to learn more about digital inclusion, check out these recommended resources: