School Access and Quality Fellowship

The MIT School Access and Quality (SAQ) Fellowship is a one-year program for education leaders focused on improving education equity.

About the Fellowship

Equitable enrollment policies help ensure that all children, regardless of their background, can access high-quality educational opportunities. During the first three cohorts, the Fellowship has influenced the enrollment opportunities of over 3.5 million students and their families.

SAQ Fellows learn best practices, leverage each other’s knowledge, and problem solve together, gaining the tools necessary to implement more equitable, fair, and efficient enrollment policies. Through in-person and virtual programming, the Fellowship connects enrollment leaders with academic researchers and policy experts. 

Learn more about applying!

Where are Fellows located?

Fellows join from public school districts, state education agencies, charter management organizations, and nonprofit organizations from across the country.

The programming

Programming focuses on pressing enrollment topics that are determined by each cohort’s unique interests. The Fellowship includes a range of in-person and virtual programming, including:

In-person programming

  • Two-day Kickoff at MIT: Fellows learn about diverse issues related to school enrollment and begin to form a strong community.
  • City Learning Visit: Two-day immersive trip for Fellows to learn about a city’s enrollment practices.

Virtual programming

  • Monthly challenge sessions: Case studies to brainstorm solutions to Fellows’ challenges.
  • Webinar series: Policy experts and researchers focus on enrollment problems of practice.
  • Office hours: Fellows meet 1:1 with enrollment and research experts.

Virtual communications

  • Monthly newsletters: Fellow spotlight interviews, news, resources, events, and research.
  • Online portal: Current Fellows and alumni share resources.

Learning objectives

Through our scheduled programming and conversations with one another, Fellows will learn how to:

  • better enhance equity through enrollment policies. 
  • effectively engage families and other stakeholders.
  • leverage enrollment data to better serve students, families, and schools.
  • build trust and collaboration between district and charter schools. 
  • address declining enrollment, while keeping an equity-centered focus. 
  • make decisions about seat allocation at selective schools.
  • develop a more user-friendly enrollment system that is easy for all families to use.

“Seeing how other cities were tackling different aspects of progress in reform helped bolster my sense of possibility. I really valued being able to connect with others doing work along the unified enrollment spectrum across the country.” Lisa Gibes de Gac, Oakland Enrolls, 2021-2022 Fellow

The Fellows

Fellows join from public school districts, state education agencies, charter management organizations, and nonprofit organizations. Their diverse backgrounds and expertise enrich each cohort. Fellows are empowered to enact changes in their respective regions. Alumni are also encouraged to continue participating in events.

Learn more

2023-2024 Fellows

Erin Allen

Senior Director of School Support

Ashley Bowen

Assistant Director of Data Analytics

Sarah Briggs

Director of Access and Enrollment

Damyionne Brown

EnrollBR Manager

Nathan Edson

Coordinator, Strategic Enrollment & Program Planning Office

Cory Edwards

Director, Student Assignment + Records

Tom Epstein

Charter Support Fellow

Taylor Luckadue Garcia

Performance Data Manager

Melanie Gomez

Director 1 of Sunrise Centers

Anna Hall

Executive Director

Deborah Agner-Hartranft

Senior Project Manager

Allie Jackson-Hing

Senior Analyst, Office of Student Enrollment

Michael Kessler

Coordinator, Strategic Enrollment & Program Planning Office

Jeanyll Morris

Director of Site Based Enrollment Support

Elizabeth Olstroem

Senior Enrollment and Student Information Analyst

Steve Osborn

Student Opportunity Officer

Russell Ramsey

Executive Director, Enrollment and Campus Planning

Ahmad Shilleh

Admissions Project Manager

Steve Silvasy

Chief Operating Officer

Nina Ward

Director of Programs and Events

Micaela White

Enrollment Services Manager

Why enrollment?

Enrollment leaders face growing challenges: enrollment in public schools nationwide is in decline, students are increasingly disengaged from school, and school access continues to be inequitable. Despite these challenges, enrollment systems present a powerful lever to enhance equity, and leaders need a community of practice now more than ever. 

Many districts have inequitable enrollment systems and lack the knowledge and resources to implement evidence-based policies. Rigorous research on enrollment policies and successful model initiatives around the country stand to improve school access for students nationwide. The Fellowship equips Fellows with the knowledge and skills they need to navigate the complex landscape of enrollment and develop more equitable systems that help all students and families access schools.