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 here

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 reform 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 reform 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

2022-2023 Fellows

Erica Acha-Morfaw

Communications Specialist, State Charter Schools Commission of Georgia

Anna-Stacia Allen

Executive Director, Navigate STL schools

Christi Allen

Assistant Director of Innovation, Garland ISD

Brittany Brown

Education Specialist, Rhode Island Department of Education

Jermaine Curtis

Charter School Specialist, Rhode Island Department of Education

Cesar Dominguez

Director of Strategic Operations, Tulsa Public Schools

Jay Freistadt

Senior Enrollment and Capacity Analyst, Seattle Public Schools

Dave Hand

Executive Director, Data Systems & Solutions, NOLA Public Schools

Anthony Harrison

Admissions Manager for Elementary Schools Admissions/Special Populations Lead, New York City Department of Education

Daniel Hildreth

Executive Director of Admissions, New York City Department of Education

Luke Hostetter

Director, Strategic Planning, Richmond Public Schools

Robyn King

Director of SchoolAppKC, Show Me KC Schools

Rebecca Latham

Executive Director of Early Childhood, NOLA Public Schools

Alicia Lombrana

Manager of Recruitment & Enrollment, YES Prep Public Schools

Lisa Lynn

Director, Data Management in Office of Access & Enrollment, Chicago Public Schools

Rubi Mallers

Manager of Data and Policy, Enroll Indy

Jonathan Mejia Rivera

Head of Enrollment Staff and School Support, Enroll Indy

Jodie Newbery

Program & Policy Development Advisor, Los Angeles Unified School District

Sean Perkins

Chief of Early Childhood Education, City of Philadelphia

Manuela Raposo

Director of Student Placement, Director of Student Placement

Gaby Sierra

Executive Director of Transformation, Aldine ISD

Justin Smith

Director of Recruitment & Enrollment, YES Prep Public Schools

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 reform 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 reform and develop more equitable systems that help all students and families access schools.