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Alumni Professional Development Scholarships

The future starts now.

The TFA Nashville-Chattanooga Alumni Team is excited to offer Professional Development Scholarships to alumni living in Nashville and Chattanooga.

The purpose of these Professional Development Scholarships is to expand access to leadership development for TFA alumni living in in our region and to create pathways toward key roles impacting education.


Scholarships are available to support participation in specific programs with mission-aligned organizations and programs. 

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Teacher Development
Educators Cooperative - EdCo Membership

The Educators’ Cooperative is a network of teachers across Nashville that supports, collaborates, and develops best practices in teaching and learning. The Cooperative creates the time and space for teachers from a diverse range of schools across all sectors to work together to find solutions to real instructional dilemmas, experience the joy and learning found in the design thinking practice, share their insights and experiences planning together, participate in discussions with local mindfulness-in-education leaders, and create working groups across all school types, disciplines, grades and years of experience.


The Educators’ Cooperative is innovating the way teachers collaborate with one another on behalf of all students in Nashville, creating stronger schools and a new avenue for teacher leadership in the process. Applications for the next cohort of Educators Cooperative will open in early 2024,  but you can check out EdCo's ongoing resources and opportunities at the link to the right!

Tennessee Educators of Color Alliance - TEC Fellowship

Educators of color need a shared, elevated voice and a stronger presence to help craft  strong accountability systems that lead to improved outcomes for students of diverse backgrounds. To that end, the Tennessee Educators of Color Alliance aims to strengthen the skillset of current educators of color, and provide high-quality programming for teachers of color.

The TN Educators of Color Fellowship is a year long experience designed to inform and empower local professionals. The Fellowship provides new skills, networking opportunities, growth experiences, and community with other teachers of color.

Applications for the next cohort of TECA Fellowship will open in early 2024, but you can becoming a TECA member and learn more at the link to the right!

Teacher Development
Business Plan
Nonprofit and Community Leadership
Nashville Emerging Leaders
Application for 2024 now closed. 

Nashville Emerging Leaders (NEL) is an 11-week leadership training program designed for young professionals in Nashville. Each year, approximately 30 individuals are chosen through a rigorous selection process. 

The weekly sessions feature interactive exercises, issue exploration, self-assessments, community participation, group projects and in-depth discussions with Middle Tennessee’s top community and business leaders. The issues discussed have included personal values, Nashville politics, diversity, education and non-profits.

The sessions are designed to accomplish the following:

  • Educate NEL participants on their personal styles, values and strengths so they can grow as leaders, motivate others, and impact change in their organizations and communities.

  • Engage NEL participants in issues important to the broader Nashville community and engage them in shaping the future of our city.

Interested?: Application open from August 10 - September 14! Details below.

Step 1: Apply for Nashville Emerging Leaders 

Step 2: After you submit the above, submit the TFA scholarship application 

Young Leaders Council
Spring 2024 Cohort Applications: Open from October 5, 2023 - January 19, 2024

The Young Leaders Council mission is to train diverse, committed individuals to effectively participate on the boards of nonprofit organizations and make a difference in the community by replenishing the volunteer leadership base.

YLC’s programming consists of a series of eleven interactive training sessions, which address fundamental board skills. Each session is facilitated by an industry expert and reflects on success indicators such as collaboration, diversity and the role of catalyst deemed crucial for today’s nonprofit leadership roles. The training is followed by the completion of a one-year internship with a nonprofit community organization. During the internship, the YLC participant will serve as a non-voting member of the organization’s working board.

Interested?: Application opens October 5, 2023! Details below.

Applications for the Young Leaders Council  Spring 2024 cohort are open.

The 2023 TFA Scholarship for 2023 YLC is now closed.

Leadership Public Education by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce
Applications open late 2023 for Spring 2024 Cohort
Nonprofit Leadership

A 6-month public education leadership development program that empowers individuals with the knowledge and skills to serve in community leadership roles at all levels of Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS).

Participants, known as fellows, learn and discuss the structures and challenges that impact Metro Nashville Public Schools from experts in the fields of public education and organizational development. Each monthly session will be focused on engaging discussions with evidence-based, non-partisan research. Topics include:

  • Public School Funding

  • MNPS Budget Process

  • Education Policy, Law, and Equity

  • Roles and Responsibilities of Board of Education and Director of Schools

  • Teacher and Principal Talent Attraction and Retention

  • Conflict Resolution and Effective Communication

Every Fellow commits to an elected, appointed, and/or volunteer community leadership role impacting MNPS, such as parent-teacher organization, school or district-based advisory council, nonprofit board of directors, Academies of Nashville Partnership Council, Education Report Committee at the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, MNPS Board of Education, Tennessee State Board of Education, and Metro-Nashville Davidson County boards and commissions.

Classes are held the second Friday of January – June from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Interested?: Application coming late 2023! See below for future next steps.

Step 1: Apply for the Leadership Public Education Spring 2024 Cohort

Step 2: After you submit the above, submit your TFA scholarship application 

LibertTEA Collective by The Equity Alliance
Applications Open in 2024 for Spring 2024 Cohort

The LiberTEA Collective, powered by The Equity Alliance, is an 8-week intensive leadership program to cultivate a talent pipeline of Black Tennesseans who are ready to transform our communities as rising civic leaders and democracy defenders. In their mission to unapologetically build Black political power, the Collective welcomes the novice and the knowledgeable, to join a force of Black leaders who are fully committed to leading change that results in liberation and freedom in every area of our lives. They center the people most impacted by community problems and give them the tools to identify equitable solutions. 

Liberators will complete the Collective with a solid, life-enriching understanding of what’s at stake and valuable strategies to take action towards relentless power building, liberation, and freedom. Collective cohorts will be guided by expert facilitators who provide weekly experiential learning sessions, using a popular education model that is free from judgment and intimidation.

Interested?: Application coming Spring 2024! See below for future next steps.

Step 1: Apply for the LiberTEA Collective Spring 2024 Cohort

Step 2: After you submit the above, submit your TFA scholarship application 

Image by Brooke Cagle
Eligibility Requirements

TFA alumni who are interested in attending one of the following programs can apply to receive a scholarship. Scholarships are issued directly to the nonprofit organization on behalf of the alum.


  • Scholarships are only available for the programs listed above. One scholarship is available for each program.

  • Applicants can be a Teach For America alum who completed their corps commitment in any region, but must currently live within the Nashville-Chattanooga region.

  • Alumni must submit a scholarship application with TFA by the deadline stated above.

  • Funding is conditional on successful acceptance into the program.

  • By submitting a scholarship application, applicants must commit to completing a post-program evaluation and review


  • Scholarship applications are accepted until the TFA Scholarship Application deadline.

  • Applications will be reviewed by the third business day following the application deadline.

  • Applicants will be notified of the decision within 5 business days of submitting the application.

Selection Criteria

Application must be fully completed, including answers to the following questions: 

  • How do you aspire to leverage your leadership to impact educational equity in Nashville? (minimum 100 words)

  • How will this program impact how you aspire to leverage your leadership toward educational equity? (minimum 100 words)

“TAX INFORMATION: Please note that this scholarship funding may be taxable and accordingly, your program may issue you a Form 1099 (or other applicable form required by law).  You are responsible for paying any and all local, state and federal taxes associated with any payment.  You are advised to consult a tax professional with any questions as Teach For America does not provide tax advice.”

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Eligibility & Requirements
    Candidates for the Fellowship should be eligible for hire by Metro Nashville Public Schools. Additionally, to be considered for the 2023 cohort of the Nashville Aspiring School Leader Fellowship, you must: Have at least 4 full years of certificated teaching experience in Pre-k – 12 by Fall 2023. Provide demonstrated evidence of educator effectiveness (i.e. TEAM, LOE, TVAAS or other state or nationally normed evidence). Meet requirements for admission to Lipscomb University M.Ed. or E.Ds. programs. Commit to working at the Teach For America Nashville-Chattanooga summer institute in 2023. Commit to pursue a full time mid-level leadership or an administrative position with Metro Nashville Public Schools for the 2024 - 2025 school year.
  • Is this Fellowship Right for me?
    Strong applicants should meet the following requirements: You believe that potential is equally distributed along lines of race and class, but opportunity is not, and you are committed now and in the future to working toward educational equity. You have demonstrated an ability to build successful, authentic relationships with adults and children from all walks of life regardless of age, income, class, race or gender. You have already shown leadership capacity, have demonstrated ability to set and achieve ambitious goals, and having a passion for learning and developing others. You desire to lead in a district-operated public school operated by Metro Nashville Public Schools. By the time the cohort begins in fall-term classes in 2023, you must have a valid Tennessee teaching license and have 4 or more years teaching experience. Master’s in Education preferred, but not required. Prior experience in teacher coaching or adult leadership preferred, but not required.
  • What if I already have a master’s or Ed.S. degree or an administrative license?
    The standard timeline for the Fellowship is based on the experience of a Fellow with a Master’s in Education. Fellows with a master’s degree will pursue an Ed.S. It is possible to complete the program on an adjusted timeline if you do not already have a master’s degree or if you already hold an administrative license. Contact Teach For America Nashville-Chattanooga for more information.
  • Do I need to be a Teach For America alumnus/a/x to be eligible?
    This program is open to applicants of all preparation backgrounds. All applicants must exhibit Teach For America’s core values, and strive to be ambassadors of the Teach For America program at all times.
  • What if I have already completed some instructional leadership courses?
    If you have already begun pursuing an administrator license in Tennessee or in another state, we can support you in determining the exact course progression that will support your degree candidacy.
  • Is placement as an assistant principal, dean or other leadership role in MNPS guaranteed?"
    Much like the corps experience, we cannot guarantee any participant’s placement. Teach For America and Lipscomb University work together to provide the education, mentorship, networking, hands-on experience, career and job placement support necessary to be a competitive applicant for mid-level school leadership, but MNPS principals make the final hiring decision for their school.
  • What is the time commitment of the program?
    From June 2023 to December 2024, Fellows can expect 6 credit hours of graduate-level course work per semester. Classes begin in August 2023 and will meet approximately one weekend per month during the school year – usually Friday from 5 pm to 9 pm and Saturday from 8 am to 4 pm. Additional online work, field experiences, and collaboration with a mentor may be expected throughout the program. More information about the Lipscomb program can be found here: Fellows are expected to pursue a role with the TFA Nashville-Chattanooga summer institute, which will require full time work from late-May to mid-July 2023 and 4 weekend training days between February and May 2023. Additionally, Teach For America requires 4 to 5 evenings throughout the school year for professional development, networking, and mentorship.
  • What is the cost of the program?
    Lipscomb University and Teach For America Nashville-Chattanooga have made discounts and scholarships available for these aspiring school leaders. Fellows receive 40% discount off the tuition of the entire leadership program and are eligible for an additional scholarship of $4,000 after successful completion of year 1 of the Fellowship. Additionally, Fellows may have an opportunity for TFA institute work during spring and summer of 2024.
  • How should I prepare to apply for the Nashville Aspiring School Leader Fellowship?
    The selection criteria for the Nashville Aspiring School Leader Fellowship includes Teach For America’s core competencies, core values and excellent schools framework; and Lipscomb University’s College of Education leadership dimensions. Your application will include open-ended response questions, your resume, a statement of educator effectiveness, and references. We recommend candidates be able to clearly articulate their philosophy on education and why they aim to pursue school leadership within a district-run public school. Your statement of educator effectiveness should include TEAM evaluations, LOE, TVAAS, or other state or nationally normed evaluations.
  • Application Timeline
    The application for the 2023 cohort of the Nashville Aspiring School Leader Fellowship will open in January 2023. More details and dates will be available as the application window approaches. In the meantime, sign up for more information or schedule an informational meeting. Application Deadline: March 2023 Interview Dates: April 2023 Notification of Acceptance: April 2023 2023 Fellowship Timeframe: June 2023 - May 2025
Scholarship Application
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