Hilda Mason Teaching Fellowships

Current as of February 2023 (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

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, with the understanding that the student will have to split the financial award, unless their course is the only one chosen because of its quality.

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. We suggest that students interested in applying start working on a proposal with their advisor in the Spring in order to meet the Curriculum Committee September deadline.

Applicants will have to submit the following:

  1. Course title/description
  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
  3. Statement of teaching philosophy (including ECO)
  4. Context/setting of the proposed course
  5. Course timeframe
  6. What qualifies you to teach this course? What teaching experience do you have?
  7. What is your educational philosophy?
  8. Why is it important we add this course to our offerings/Why is this course important to the community?
  9. Does your advisor support your plan to teach next year? Are you making Standard Academic Progress so far?
  10. Reference letter from your advisor

Call for Proposals for the 2024-2025 Hilda Mason Fellowship

All applications will have to be submitted via email to the Assistant to the Dean of Faculty by Midnight, Friday, September 22, 2023.

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 in a given 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 will not receive consideration.

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.

Currently, the Fellowship is $2000 for teaching a 3-unit course. Students can also register for a free for a 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 of 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 (please note – 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.

Degree programs course of study begin in the Fall or Spring terms. The Symposium takes place in the January Intersession term.

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.