Education Policy Fellowship Program

The Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP) is a national program that engages a diverse and collaborative community of strategic leaders to promote equitable education policy.

North Carolina's Education Policy Fellowship Program (NC EPFP) is one of 10 EPFP programs nationally administered through the Institute for Educational Leadership in Washington, D.C. NC EPFP has graduated over 800 Fellows and has a rich network of alumni in North Carolina and nationally. North Carolina's program is routinely held up as an example for its strong curriculum, growing network of Fellows, and statewide reach.

Built around the three pillars of leadership, policy, and networking, fellows will come together from across the state to learn the history of education policy in North Carolina, how it still impacts education systems today, and the principles of advocacy that can be used to improve education policy for a better future. 

Program Information

The North Carolina Education Policy Fellowship Program is the only statewide program of its kind that focuses on leadership and professional development in the context of education policy. Each new class continues the trend of high caliber participants and is rich in its members' range of experiences, both professionally and personally. Fellows come from public schools, higher education, community colleges, state agencies, and a diverse array of education organizations across North Carolina.

Learn more about the program and meet this year's cohort.


GEAR UP Funding

In 2014, the GEAR UP grant was awarded to Appalachian State University and allowed EPFP to expand and provide better access to the western region of North Carolina.

Participants from Appalachian GEAR UP districts receive funding to cover the cost of participation. 

Find out if you're eligible and how to apply.

Applications are now being accepted for the 2024-2025 cohort!


Have questions? Contact your North Carolina EPFP Coordinators, Corinne Smith ( or Sara Howell (

"How serendipitous it was to have the privilege of being an EPFP member during a year of unprecedented intersections in politics, healthcare, education, and civil rights! To study the history and current events of our country and state would have been powerful enough for me in any other year. However, to be able to collectively reflect on and corporately process such events through the lenses of current issues of equity and inequality THIS year has been life changing. I not only feel empowered to speak up about such issues in my professional and personal life, but I also now know how to do so! This program has opened my eyes to the struggles around me, the strength within me, and the strategies ahead of me that I will use to fuel my passion for positive change in education and beyond!"

-2021 EPFP Graduate