faq

 

The Saga Fellowship is an official AmeriCorps program under the Corporation for National & Community Service (CNSC).

Application Process

 

Is there an application deadline?
The application for the Saga Fellowship opens annually in mid-August. We accept applications on a rolling basis, until the cohort is full. There is an advantage to applying earlier; the process becomes more competitive as spots are taken.

How do I apply? Qualifying for the Saga Fellowship is a three step process.
The application for the Saga Fellowship is a three-step process.

1. Online Application: All potential Fellows must complete the online application. The application requires a candidate to create a profile, upload a resume, and answer three short questions. No cover letter is required. This initial step typically takes no more than 30 minutes.

2. Math Assessment: Candidates are required to take a brief math assessment. The assessment will give us a better understanding of your math skills in basic high school Algebra and Geometry. Candidates are encouraged to practice by taking the sample assessment. Candidates are given a formula sheet and are allowed to use a calculator during the assessment. The math assessment must be completed in one sitting; candidates are allotted one hour to complete it.

3. Onsite Interviews: Candidates who progress to the last stage in the process will be invited to Chicago, New York City for a final round interview, called the “onsite” (in person or virtually). During the onsite, candidates have two 15-minute interviews with members of our team. Following the interviews, candidates participate in a 35-minute mock tutorial, during which they use previously provided math materials to teach the students a lesson. Candidates will have 15 minutes to teach the prepared lesson, 10 minutes to self-reflect, and 10 minutes to debrief with both the students who they taught and the staff member who observed the lesson. The onsite takes anywhere from 1.5 – 3 hours in total.

How long does the application process take?
The entire application process takes between three to four weeks, from the time you apply to the time you receive an offer. The longest portion of the application process is the time it takes for candidates to schedule and complete their onsite interview.

Who can serve as a Saga Fellow?
Saga recruits highly talented recent college graduates, career changers, or retirees. We are looking for people dedicated to ending educational inequity by supporting students from high-need communities. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree or an associate’s degree.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until cohorts are full. We seek candidates from a diverse set of academic, social and cultural backgrounds -- nearly half of our Fellows identify as people of color. In considering applications, we primarily look for a strong academic record, coaching or tutoring experience, and a readiness to rise to the many demands and challenges that come with supporting at-risk youth. Idealistic and driven people who are hungry for consistent feedback thrive as Saga Fellows.

Can I apply for a Saga Fellowship if I am an international student?
During the 2019-2020 school year, all Saga Fellows will be AmeriCorps members. AmeriCorps is only open to U.S. citizens, nationals, or lawful permanent resident aliens.

Fellow Experience

How does Saga Education work?
Saga Education Tutoring Fellows are helping students in some of the nation’s lowest-performing school districts make incredible academic gains. To achieve this goal, Saga Education partners with public school districts. We provide underserved students with consistent, personalized tutoring during the school day, at no cost to students or their families. Saga is able to serve students because of the passion and talent of Saga Fellows, who devote themselves to a service-year of full-time tutoring. Fellows are dedicated and caring adults who deliver high-quality, personalized instruction with equal parts accountability and heart, building lasting relationships with students and their families.

Where do Saga Fellows work?
Saga Fellows work in Chicago, New York City or Washington DC. In Chicago, we currently have partnerships with schools across the city. In New York City, we currently have partnerships with schools in 4 of the 5 boroughs (excluding Staten Island). Our current partnerships in Washington DC are all located within the Washington DC proper limits.

How are Saga Fellows compensated?
Saga Education provides a modest living stipend to all Fellows for their 10.5 month term of service (August-June). Here is a complete outline of Saga benefits.

  • Chicago: Stipend $20,000

  • New York City: Stipend $21,000

  • Washington DC: Stipend $21,000

As a member of the federal AmeriCorps program, you are eligible to earn the Segal Education Award (valued at approximately $6,000) at the completion of your service year, which can go toward pursuing further education or to pay off existing, qualified student loans. Additionally, over 100 colleges and universities nationwide augment the Segal Education Award in some way, including matching your award amount, waived registration fees, course credits, or service scholarships.

During your service with us and as an AmeriCorps member, qualified student loans are eligible for forbearance or deferment.

Fellows are eligible for pre-tax Flexible Spending Account (FSA) for unreimbursed qualified expenses-any medical, dental or vision expenses that may incur which are not covered by insurance. In addition, Fellows can create a pre-tax flex account for dependent care, transportation, or parking.

Fellows have access to other Saga staff member perks (e.g. discounts on entertainment, automotive services, technology, and retail).
Click here to see a sample of a Saga Fellow personal budget

Does Saga provide commuting benefits (i.e Metrocards) ?
No, Saga does not offer a commuting benefit for Fellows.

Are there other ways that Saga Fellows can earn money?
Saga Fellows have the opportunity to apply for Saga’s part-time recruitment team, which compensates Fellows an hourly rate of time and a half. In addition, Fellows may apply for other part-time employment outside of Saga as long as it does not conflict with the school day.

What do Fellows do after serving with Saga?
Fellows go on to pursue a wide variety of pathways after their first service year, including: staying for a second year with Saga; attending graduate or professional school; teaching full-time; working in non-teaching positions in schools; or moving into careers in other fields, such as business, healthcare, or marketing.

Fellow Training

What kind of training will I receive?
All Fellows receive approximately two weeks of on-boarding training, beginning in mid-August. This training focuses on work orientation, best-practice tutoring strategies, lesson planning, tutorial management, curriculum structures, cultural sensitivity, and how to build relationships with your students and school community. Then, Fellows receive highly valuable ongoing training via weekly tutorial observations and coaching feedback sessions with their Site Directors, weekly Professional Development (PD) sessions, and some opportunities for all-Corps PD sessions.

The Saga Academics Team provides Saga Fellows with a Saga-generated curriculum that is written specifically for tutorials. Fellows are not expected to create their own curriculum; Fellows are instead trained in how to adapt that curriculum for their individual students.

Fellow Responsibilities

What are my core responsibilities as a Fellow?
At the core, Saga Fellows provide tutoring to help students learn math. However, Fellows provide so much more, in academic support and mentorship.

As a Saga Fellow, the personal relationships you develop with your students allow you to help students in ways that extend beyond developing their understanding of mathematical concepts. You will be providing academic support; that is, helping students overcome difficulties that impede their learning. The root issue of such situations may stray far from the academic sphere. Examples include helping students resolve personal disagreements with a teacher or fixing personal situations that serve as distractions in the classroom. You will also be serving as a mentor to your students. As college graduates, you are a source of valuable inspiration and information to your students. As a Saga Fellow, you will have an opportunity to empower students to see a new story for themselves, as they begin to think about life after high school.

What are other expectations of a Fellow?
Each Fellow maintains grading/attendance trackers for each of their students. Fellows are expected to complete tasks assigned by your site director, such as turning in lesson plans, getting reports handed in, or collecting parent-sign forms from students.

What is a typical day for a Fellow?
You’ll spend one school year working with the same caseload of students, serving as their mentor and helping them achieve specific academic goals.

How a Fellow’s typical day unfolds varies slightly between sites. All sites have meetings and prep time throughout the day. Each Fellow is allocated a 30-minute lunch break. At the end of the school day, each Fellow is responsible for completing a daily feedback form, and any other tasks that need completion before the next day. We invite you to get in touch with current Fellows and/or Site Directors to hear about first hand experiences.

Saga provides an opportunity to create lifelong relationships with other Fellows and site directors. Fellows generally work within the same classroom creating a community where Fellows feel comfortable in asking their peers for any word of advice. In addition, Fellows work closely with teachers and parents to discuss ways to help students succeed. Some Fellows may become involved in the lives of student’s outside of academics, attending school sports games.

How many students will I be working with?
Saga Fellows work with two students at time, when conducting the traditional “High-Dosage” tutorial model. The total number of students a Fellow works with is related to: whether a schools is “Tech” site or a “High-Dosage” site; student enrollment (decided in part by the school’s student coordinators); Fellow attendance (or absence); and student attendance.

What is a “Blended Learning” site vs. a “Full-Dosage” site?
Saga provides two models of high-impact tutoring.

At “Blended Learning” sites, Fellows typically work with four students per period. Fellows engage two of the students in a tutorial, while the other two students work independently on the online math learning platform, ALEKS. Students then rotate between tutorials and ALEKS on a daily basis. That is, a student who works directly with their Fellow on Monday would go on to study independently on ALEKS on Tuesday, and so on.

At “Full-Dosage” sites Fellows work with two students per period. Fellows engage in a tutorial with these same two students everyday for that particular period.

In both models, Fellows work with the same cohort of students for the duration of the school year.

Besides students, who else will I be in contact with?
Fellows have bi-weekly contact with parents or guardians to update them on their students progress -- this may be in the form of email, text message, or phone calls. In addition, Fellows often interact with school teachers, staff, administration, and the general community at large.

Where else can I find information about Saga?
To see Saga’s work in action and more, check out the Saga Blog!