The George Washington Teacher Institute Residential Programs are immersive professional development experiences designed to support K-12 educators who teach about the life, leadership, and legacy of George Washington and the 18th-century world in which he lived.

All Residential Programs take place on-site at George Washington's Mount Vernon and include the following signature elements:

  • In-depth content and primary source analysis.
  • Immersive 18th-century experiences with historical interpreters and subject matter experts.
  • Lively debate and engaged collaboration with visiting scholars, fellow participants, and Mount Vernon staff.
  • Classroom applicability including technology integration.
  • Connections between historical events and contemporary student experiences.

If you have questions about the George Washington Teacher Institute Residential Programs that are not addressed in the Frequently Asked Questions below, please contact Jackie Jecha, Manager of Library Education Programs.

APPLICATION AND DEADLINES

How do I apply for a George Washington Teacher Institute Residential Program?
The George Washington Teacher Institute uses an online application system found on the program website. Applicants are required to submit a resume, essay, and recommendations through the online system. All materials should be prepared before starting the application as our system cannot save applications in progress.

Can I mail my application?
The George Washington Teacher Institute uses an online application and is unable to accept applications, including recommendations, via mail or email.

When is the application deadline?
Residential programs are hosted throughout the year. Please consult the Educational Events calendar for program dates and specific deadlines.

All applications materials must be uploaded into the online application system by the application deadline, including letters of recommendation.

How are participants selected?
Participants’ qualifications, personal essays, and recommendations are evaluated on the applicant’s ability to share with students and other educators; examples of innovative and creative teaching; and the applicant’s available opportunities to teach the material covered at the Institute within his/her current position.

When will I be notified if I have or have not been accepted?
Please refer to the webpage for the program you plan to apply to, or the confirmation email received upon completion of your application for the timetable of when acceptances will be sent. Accepted applicants will have 2 weeks after notification of their acceptance to accept or decline admission.

I am on the waitlist for the Institute. How will I know if a spot becomes available?
Applicants on the waitlist will be informed via email if spots become available.

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ELIGIBILITY

Who is eligible to apply to the George Washington Teacher Institute Residential Programs?
Anyone who is currently educating American students in a formal school environment is eligible to apply. Priority will be given to educators working directly with students (teachers, media specialists, librarians); however, a limited number of spaces will be reserved for administrators and supervisors.

Do I have to be a history teacher to apply?
No! Anyone who is currently educating American students in a formal school environment is welcome to apply. Priority will be given to educators working directly with students (teachers, media specialists, librarians); however, a limited number of spaces will be reserved for administrators and supervisors.

Can multiple teachers from the same school apply?
Yes! Teachers from the same school can apply to the program; however, teachers applying from the same school will be assessed on their individual merit and not as a team.

Can I attend more than one Residential Program?
Teachers may only attend one Residential Program per calendar year.

I attended a George Washington Teacher Institute Residential Program before. Can I apply again?
Yes! Starting in 2016 a limited number of spaces will be reserved for alumni of the George Washington Teacher Institute. Alumni should be sure to include details of how they have integrated what they learned at their first Residential Program into their current practices when writing their essay. 

Accepted alumni will be expected to participate in the residential program. (For example: lead large and/or small group discussions, lead a primary source session, etc.)

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COSTS AND CREDITS

Are scholarships available?
Full scholarships, including travel stipends, are available for applicants from the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

You don’t offer a scholarship for my state. Is there any way to get a scholarship?
Yes! National scholarships are available. 

Do you offer continuing Education Units (CEUs), Professional Development Points (PDPs), or Graduate Credits?
We currently do not offer official CEUs, PDPs, or Graduate Credit. Participants can request a letter of attendance that will outline the number of hours spent in lectures, participating in discussions, and on tours for the week they attended.

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GENERAL

What are my responsibilities as a participant?
As outlined in the Participant Obligation Pledge, participants in the program are required to:

  • Fully and actively participate and contribute in ALL Institute activities
  • Conduct a minimum of one district level or state level in-service presentation that reaches teachers beyond those you work with on a daily basis
  • Submit a report on the in-service presentation within the required time frame.

Can my spouse/child/friend participate?
Only participants accepted to the Institute may participate in Institute activities and reside on-site at Mount Vernon.

Can I defer my acceptance to a different Residential Program?
No, but you are eligible to reapply to a different Residential Program. Please note that participation is limited to one Residential Program per year.

I was not accepted to my first choice. Will declining my second choice hurt my chances of being accepted in the future?
No, your merit will be evaluated independently in subsequent application periods. Be sure to only mark weeks you are interested in attending on your application.

I have a need for a mobility accommodation. Are the accommodations, grounds, and Library accessible?
When considering your ability to participate, please keep in mind that Mount Vernon is located on 500 acres. Tours cover much of the Estate, and include uphill, downhill, paved, and unpaved walkways. Please Note: Accessibility arrangements should be made with the Education Department prior to the start of the Institute. Click here for additional information about accessibility at Mount Vernon.

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BEFORE YOU ARRIVE

When should I plan to arrive for the Institute? When should I plan to depart?
Participants will receive information on arrivals and departures via email at the time of their acceptance into the program. Please do not book travel arrangements until you have received an email communication from the Mount Vernon Education Department regarding travel.

How do I get to Mount Vernon?
Mount Vernon is accessible by air, train, and car. The closest airport to Mount Vernon is Reagan National Airport (DCA). The closest Amtrak train stations are Washington Union Station (DC) and Alexandria Union Station (Virginia). Parking is available on-site for those who wish to drive to Mount Vernon from their home state.

What is the Mount Vernon Shuttle?
The Mount Vernon Shuttle, crewed by the Mount Vernon Volunteer Shuttle Drivers, is available for accepted participants to take free of charge. The shuttle only runs between Reagan National Airport (DCA) and Mount Vernon. Participants arriving at locations other than DCA can still reserve a seat on the Mount Vernon Shuttle, but they must get to DCA. A shuttle schedule will be made available to those accepted to the program.

What should I pack for the Institute?
The dress code for the George Washington Teacher Institute is business casual. Please be sure to check the weather forecast for Northern Virginia for the week you will be attending. Participants should be sure to pack the following:

  • Business Casual clothing
  • Sweater or Jacket (Meeting rooms can get chilly)
  • Umbrella or Rain Coat
  • Backpack or Messenger Bag
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Bug Spray
  • Sunscreen
  • Medication
  • Toiletries and Personal Items (these are not available on site)
  • Mobile Devices, Tablet, or Laptop Computer
  • Camera
  • Snacks (some will be provided, but there is no vending machine on site)

Are there any required readings for the Institute?
The Mount Vernon Education Department will mail books related to each week’s topic to participants before the start of their programs. 

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WHILE YOU ARE HERE

Where will I stay during the program?
All George Washington Teacher Institute participants will be housed in a housing complex on the Mount Vernon grounds known as Quarters.

Will I have a private room or will I have to share with a roommate?
On occasion participants will be required to share rooms. Double occupancy rooms will be determined by a random lottery.

What amenities do the rooms have?
All rooms have a private bathroom, linens, hair dryer, and ironing board. Please note that linens (sheets and towels) will be provided for the duration of your stay and not replaced daily.

Toiletry items are not provided and are not available for purchase on the Estate.

Do I have to use Mount Vernon housing or can I commute to the program?
The George Washington Teacher Institute Residential Programs require attendees to live on-site at Mount Vernon for the duration of the program.

Are all meals covered in the cost of the Residential Program?
Yes! All meals will be provided throughout the week; lunches and dinners are scheduled, breakfast is at your discretion in Quarters. The Quarters kitchen will be stocked with breakfast foods for each morning.

I have food allergies/restrictions/am a vegetarian or vegan. What kind of meals will be served?
Accepted applicants should make note of any specific food allergies and/or dietary restrictions on the medical form provided in their welcome packet. The Education Department will work with our catering staff to build menus that take into account known food allergies/restrictions/vegetarian or vegan needs.

Should I bring a laptop/tablet?
Yes! There will be projects during the Institute that require access to the internet. Participants who wish to bring their own laptop/tablet are encouraged to do so. Participants who do not wish to bring their own laptop/tablet can borrow a Microsoft Surface from the Mount Vernon Education Department for the program.

Will there be Internet access available?
WiFi is available at the Washington Library, on the Mount Vernon Estate, and in the Quarters common room.

Will scheduled tours still happen if it rains?
Yes! The schedule will happen rain, snow, or shine – including outdoor tours. In the event of severe bad weather, the Mount Vernon Education Department Staff may alter the schedule.

Will there be time to visit the Museum Shops?
Arriving before or leaving after the official start times will allow for access to the Mount Vernon Shops. Attendees will receive a discount with their George Washington Teacher Institute name badge.

Is there a dress code for the Institute?
The dress code for the George Washington Teacher Institute is business casual. We suggest packing a light sweater or jacket as conference rooms at the Washington Library can be chilly.

  • Business Casual attire includes polo shirts, khakis, dresses, pants, capris, etc. We ask that participants refrain from wearing logo t-shirts, flip flops, and jeans.
  • Be sure to pack a pair of comfortable walking shoes. Estate tours cover terrain that includes uphill, downhill, paved, and unpaved walkways.
  • Be sure to check the weather for Northern Virginia prior to your departure. Summer temperatures can be upwards of 90 degrees with high humidity, while fall and spring temperatures can range from 30 degrees to 70 degrees.
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AFTER YOU LEAVE

Professional Development Requirement
As outlined in the Participant Obligation Pledge, participants in the program are required to:

  • Conduct a minimum of one district level or state level in-service presentation that reaches teachers beyond those you work with on a daily basis
  • Submit a report on the in-service presentation within the required time frame

Mount Vernon staff will explain the requirement and provide assistance during and after the Institute. Please see our Professional Development page for tips, tricks, and helpful forms for your PD.

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