Hilda Mason Teaching Fellowships

Current as of May 2024 (this information is subject to change)

The Honorable Hilda Mason (1916-2007) was a teacher, civil rights activist, city council member, and a prominent leader in Washington, DC. A member of All Souls Unitarian Church, Hilda Mason was the recipient of an honorary doctorate from Starr King School for the Ministry and was a former trustee of the school. For more information on this important leader, click here.

Hilda Mason Teaching Fellowship for Student-Taught Courses

Fellowships are awarded to selected Starr King degree students who have submitted a proposal to teach a course that will be offered as part of Starr King’s curriculum. May be for 3 units; taught in intensive, online, immersion, or residential format. Applications cannot be submitted by more than two students working in collaboration. If two students apply to co-teach a course, and that proposal is accepted, the two students will have to split the financial award, unless their course is the only one chosen for the academic year. Proposals submitted by teaching teams (of three or more students) will not be considered.

MASC students completing the program in two years can apply in their second year and teach the course after graduation.

Please note: On occasion, the Dean of Faculty and Curriculum Committee will review proposals that are outside the traditional student-taught course model. If students have ideas for a course that does not fit the description outlined above (for example, teaching a course in a community setting), they may submit it for consideration after consulting with their advisor and the Dean of the Faculty.

Applying for Hilda Mason Fellowship

Successful completion of the ECO intensive course is a prerequisite to apply for the Hilda Mason Fellowship. Your advisor must support your proposal with a recommendation letter. In accordance with our school policies, Requests for Letters of Recommendation should be submitted to the faculty member at least one month before the letter is due.

We suggest that students interested in applying start working on a proposal with their advisor in the Spring to meet the Curriculum Committee September due date. Students are encouraged to register for the zero credit Hilda Mason Fellowship course offered during the summer. You are encouraged to provide your completed application to your advisor no later than early August so they have sufficient time to review, provide feedback, and draft their recommendation letter.

Applicants must clearly submit all of the information below in one document (unless specified otherwise).

Word and page count are suggestions based on historical patterns, not requirements. Your submissions for each of the nine (9) required areas can be outside of the suggested ranges.

1) Course title and description.

Please keep the title to approximately 40 characters, including spaces and punctuation. Course description is generally 1-2 paragraphs (150 – 300 words) and includes the related SKSM Thresholds and MFC Competencies (when applicable).

2) Outline of syllabus.

While the development of a full syllabus is not necessary at the point of application, please review the SKSM Syllabus Template on Student Forms. If you have a full draft syllabus, you can include it as a distinct file in your application packet.

3) Statement of teaching and learning philosophy (including ECO-CJSC).

This statement usually ranges between 200 – 500 words, approximately 1-2 pages total.

4) Context/setting of the proposed course.

E.g., will this course be offered asynchronously or synchronously? Will there be elements that are outside of the scheduled course meeting time (such as lectures, homework)? Will students be assigned to work in pairs or small groups? Is it a lecture or seminar style of curriculum?

Provide any contextual or design elements you can at this time. Approximately 50 – 200 words.

5) Course time frame.

E.g., Will it meet weekly? Monthly? Daily (as an intensive)? For how long will each meeting occur? Which term would you prefer to offer it in (Summer, Fall, Intersession, Spring)?  A sentence or two is usually sufficient.

6) Curriculum Vitae (CV). What qualifies you to teach this course? What teaching experience do you have?

Responses usually ranges between 150 – 500 words and provide a succinct and relevant overview of your CV. Include your CV as a separate file in your application packet.

7) Why is it important we add this course to our offerings/Why is this course important to the community?

This usually ranges between 150 – 300 words.

8) Does your advisor support your plan to teach next year? Are you making Standard Academic Progress so far?

Applicant’s responses to both questions must be in the affirmative (e.g., “yes” and “yes”) to be considered.

9) Reference letter from your advisor.

Include with your application packet.  Reference letters are generally 150-400 words, or 1-2 pages.

Call for Proposals for the 2025-2026 Hilda Mason Fellowship

​All applications will have to be submitted via email to the Assistant to the Dean of Faculty, kmoebius@sksm.edu by 11:59pm, Friday, September 20, 2024.

MASC students completing the program in two years can apply in their second year and teach the course after graduation.

Criteria for Assessing Proposals for a Hilda Mason Fellowship

​In reviewing proposals for a teaching fellowship award, the Curriculum Committee will assess the individual student’s qualifications and preparation for teaching the course, the appropriateness of the pedagogy and the course design for the setting in which it will be offered (community, congregation, or graduate level teaching), the suitability of the course for both the teaching fellow and enrolled students in terms of Starr King’s educational values and commitments, and the significance of the teaching opportunity for the fellow’s preparation for their vocational goals.

It is expected that teaching fellowships will in some way advance the integration of the student’s theological program of study with their past experience and skill. Proposals that simply repeat a course or topic of instruction that the student has already had expert professional experience with generally will not meet this criterion.  Proposals that rely on guest lecturers are discouraged.

Submission of a proposal for a teaching fellowship does not guarantee acceptance.

The Curriculum Committee will make judgments based not only on the quality of the proposal, but also based on the financial resources available each year for providing a fellowship, and on the overall number of courses it feels can be successfully offered. For this reason, applications by teaching teams (of three or more students) will not receive consideration.

Selection committee members review and evaluate each proposal based on a four-point scale across seven categories.

Scale: 4 = Excellent; 3 = Strong, needs some development; 2= Weak, needs a lot of work; 1 = Non-developed.

Categories: 1) ECO-CJSC; 2) Multi-Religiosity; 3) Pedagogy; 4) Originality; 5) Sources; 6) Experience; 7) Reference Letter

After each committee member has evaluated all the proposals, they meet to deliberate and determine if award(s) will be offered for the for the following academic year.

Hilda Mason Fellowship Award Letters

​Students whose proposals are selected by the Curriculum Committee will be granted a “Hilda Mason Teaching Fellowship” by the School and will be notified of the fellowship and its amount by a letter from the Curriculum Committee. Copies of the Fellowship Award letter will be sent to the Finance Director and the Registrar’s Office. This process can take a few months, and the Committee tries to inform recipients before the end of the calendar year.

Currently, the Fellowship is $2000 for teaching a 3-unit course. Students can also register for a free three credit SKIL (Starr King Individualized Learning Course) for teaching this course. It is expected that the Fellowships will at no time exceed the amount that Adjunct Faculty receive for teaching a 3-unit course.

The Hilda Mason Teaching Fellowships will be administered in the same way that other scholarship and financial aid grants are administered: through the Office of Student Accounts in collaboration with the Financial Aid Office as a reduction on the student’s tuition account (tuition credits). If the Teaching Fellow has already paid all their tuition, the Fellowship will be awarded as a check from the school to the student during the semester that the student is scheduled to teach. In very rare instances, a student may be selected to teach in the term after they graduate, in which case they will not receive a tuition credit but will be paid the full fellowship amount (in such instances, this payment would be taxable).

Mentoring and Supervision of Teaching Fellows

Each Hilda Mason Teaching Fellow will be mentored and supervised by a member of Starr King’s faculty. The faculty member may work with the student in the study and preparation that leads up to the course proposal. During the semester when the course is offered, the mentor/supervisor will meet periodically with the student to reflect on their experience in teaching the class, and will offer feedback, guidance, and evaluation on the student’s teaching. At the end of the semester, the mentor/supervisor will provide the registrar with an evaluation of the student’s teaching to be included in their student file.

Hilda Mason Teaching Fellows have the option to receive 3-units of course credit (at no tuition cost) for teaching a 3-unit course and may also receive credit (with the approval of the mentor/supervisor) for the preparation of the course.

Cancellation of the Course

​If a Teaching Fellowship course is cancelled because of no or low enrollment, the Hilda Mason Teaching Fellowship opportunity will not be cancelled for the student. The student will be encouraged to offer the course in another venue, if possible, or at another time.

The Hilda Mason fellows are a special category of adjuncts. As such, they are not asked to attend faculty meetings and study times, unless by special invitation.