The Riley Institute at Furman and the South Carolina Department of Education are partnering to offer South Carolina Afterschool Leaders Empowered (SCALE), a 10-month fellowship that prepares individuals across the state to be strong leaders in the field of afterschool and expanded learning.
Each year for the next three years, SCALE will convene a diverse cohort of 20 emerging summer and afterschool learning leaders, providing them with the tools and frameworks they need to build strong partnerships, secure funding, design and scale evidenced-based programming, and more. Ideal participants are leaders who currently work in a school district or community-based organization partnering with the school district to provide afterschool and summer learning programs and who intend to work in this field for at least the next 18 months. Participants will receive continuing education credits for their participation.
SCALE is a hybrid in-person and virtual educational experience. The program begins with a weeklong intensive on Furman’s campus. SCALE Fellows will then participate in monthly webinars, take part in a learning journey trip to a nationally-acclaimed summer learning program and in-state site swaps, and work on a capstone project related to afterschool or summer learning.
The program is grounded in deep discussion and experiential learning and led by a diverse faculty with afterschool and summer learning expertise.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the goals of the fellowship?
SCALE aims to aid leaders in maintaining and growing high-quality, evidence-based afterschool and summer learning programs across the state of South Carolina while building local and state support for this important work.
With the support of the SCALE fellowship, participants will be prepared to enhance the afterschool and summer workforce, strengthen the quality of programming across their organization, increase the number of students served during expanded learning time, and sustain programs through partnerships, funding, and staffing. The capstone “SCALE Up Project” is job-embedded and incorporates one or more of these focus areas.
Who is eligible to participate?
South Carolina Afterschool Leaders Empowered Fellows will be chosen by a state and national committee of afterschool and summer learning experts. The cohort will reflect a wide variety of backgrounds and diversity dimensions, including geographic representation, grade levels or special populations served, type of organization (schools, districts, community-based, and faith-based), and leadership experience. All fellows should currently work in the field of afterschool and summer learning and anticipate remaining in this work for at least the next 18 months. Potential fellows should apply with the support of their supervisors and with the intent of applying research-based practices to their work and across their organization.
How is the fellowship structured?
SCALE is a 10-month program that is a hybrid in-person and virtual educational experience. The program begins with a weeklong intensive on Furman’s campus. SCALE Fellows will then participate in monthly webinars, take part in a learning journey to a nationally-acclaimed summer learning program and in-state site swaps, and work on a capstone project related to afterschool or summer learning. Fellows are expected to commit to all portions of the experience.
How is the curriculum organized?
The SCALE curriculum, presented and facilitated by national and local afterschool and summer learning leaders, covers topics such as best-practices program design, program assessment and evaluation, equitable and trauma-informed relationship building skills, arts-integration, and leadership styles. The program is directed by Amy Keely, a leader for two decades in the field of afterschool and summer learning. The curriculum was developed in partnership with a national advisory committee, chaired by Dr. Terry Peterson and including experts from the Afterschool Alliance, South Carolina Afterschool Alliance, multiple school districts, and outstanding local programs. A lead facilitator, Ron Fairchild, President and CEO of Smarter Learning Group, ties all of the learnings together and works closely with Fellows during the year to help them develop their individual SCALE Up Project plans. Participant fellows will receive continuing education hours for their participation.
What is the cost?
Through the support of the South Carolina Department of Education and utilization of American Rescue Plan funding, the South Carolina Afterschool Leaders Empowered program is offered free of charge to participants. This includes expenses associated with travel to Greenville and Furman, lodging and meals, and learning journey participation.
How do I apply?
Applications for the second cohort are now closed. Each application must be accompanied by a letter of support from the applicant’s supervisor, indicating their willingness to improve their organization’s practices and to support the fellow’s time and intellectual commitment to this project. SCALE fellows will be notified December 9.