Residential Programs

The George Washington Teacher Institute Residential Programs are immersive professional development programs designed for K-12 educators to teach about the life, leadership, and legacy of George Washington and the 18th-century world in which he lived. Participants in each program learn on-site at Washington's beloved home, Mount Vernon and the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington.  

Each Institute session features a lead scholar, as well as numerous guest speakers and Mount Vernon experts and includes these signature elements:

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

Our format, with a different thematic focus each session, allows you to explore the 18th-century subjects that are most relevant to your classroom: government, women, military, slavery, leadership, and business. 

Who Can Apply?

  • The George Washington Teacher Institute cares deeply about equity, inclusivity, and diversity. Our Institute is committed to cultivating a unique learning environment where all individuals may succeed professionally and personally. We seek and welcome applications from educators of varying backgrounds and experiences to explore the history and ideals that make us all different, and inspires diverse interpretations of George Washington and the world he lived in.
  • Anyone who is currently educating American students in a formal K-12 school environment.
  • Educators must anticipate teaching in the school year following participation. 
  • Priority will be given to educators working directly with students from any subject area (teachers, media specialists, librarians); however, a limited number of spaces will be reserved for administrators and supervisors.
  • Applicants may only attend one residential program at Mount Vernon per calendar year.
  • Alumni from past residential or digital programs are eligible to apply; however, there are a limited number of spaces reserved.

Why Should I Apply?

  • Learn from place, and museum and academic experts about George Washington’s life and lessons in leadership.
  • Tackle topics that matter the most to you, from government to slavery to leadership.
  • Collaborate with other dynamic educators to devise new ways to bring these lessons to life in your classroom.
  • Connect with Institute alumni and other teacher participants from across the country.

What is the Application Process?

  • Online Application The application should take approximately an hour to complete and requires the applicant to upload a resume and provide short answer responses about your teaching philosophies. Two letters of recommendation are also required for completion. Applicants can start the application, save, and return to it before the submission deadline. 
  • Resume List relevant education and teaching history. Special attention will be given to leadership roles held, recent professional development, student engagement techniques, and examples of innovative and adaptive teaching strategies.
  • Short Answer Questions Explain your reasons for applying by responding to questions related to how your attendance will impact students, what teaching historical thinking looks like in your classroom, what collaborative contributions you can add as a participant, and your potential as an engaged alumni of the George Washington Teachers Institute.
  • Letters of Recommendation Two letters of recommendation addressing your skill, ability, and experience as a teacher and indicating support for your participation in the Institute are required. One letter must be from a person in a school or district leadership role where you are currently employed. The additional letter should be from an education colleague. You will be asked to submit the names of your two recommenders, who will then be asked to submit their letters through the application system.
  • Alumni Alumni of previous George Washington Teacher Institute Residential Programs will be asked to explain how they have integrated experiences and knowledge from the residential program they attended into their current practice. Alumni will be asked to participate in the residential program by leading a classroom application session, a lesson and/or activity related to the Institute theme.
  • Professional Development As part of your participant agreements, you will be asked to conduct a minimum of one teacher professional development session following the Institute, with the goal being to share what you've learned with teachers beyond your team and/or school within the next year. More details will be provided during the Institute.

What are the Costs?

  • All costs associated with institute resources, meals, and lodging are covered as part of your participation. 
  • Participants will be responsible for booking travel. Reimbursements will be made following program participation based on predetermined stipend amounts (which will be communicated after acceptance). 


  • George Washington's Mount Vernon By learning on George Washington’s estate, participants will enjoy the opportunity to connect and collaborate with Mount Vernon’s onsite experts in informal learning, early American history, preservation, archaeology, and other relevant fields.
  • The Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington Participants will learn throughout the various areas of the 45,000 square‐foot Washington Library for the majority of the Institute. The Library is designed to house and safeguard original Washington documents and other materials from the founding era, as well as contemporary research tools and resources.  
  • The Alexandrian Hotel As part of the covered costs, teachers will be housed in double occupancy rooms with fellow participants at the Alexandrian Hotel in Old Town Alexandria, Autograph Collection. Access to a free breakfast, Wi-Fi, and parking are included.

What Else Do I Need to Know?

  • COVID-19 George Washington's Mount Vernon will Comply with applicable laws and guidance set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health authorities. We are confident we can provide and maintain a safe workplace that is free of known hazards for participants, but please reach out if you have any questions about our protocol in this area. 
    • Program lodging will include double occupancy with one other participant and shuttle services for the full cohort will be provided daily.
  • Accessibility When considering your accessibility needs, please keep in mind that Mount Vernon is located on 500 acres and several Institute sessions include walking on hilly and unpaved terrains. Accessibility arrangements can be made with the Education Department prior to the start of the Institute to ensure your full participation. Click here for additional information about accessibility at Mount Vernon.
  • Dietary Restrictions Accepted applicants will be asked to make note of any specific food allergies and/or dietary restrictions in their paperwork. The Education Department will work with our catering staff to build menus that take these needs into account. If your diet is highly restrictive, you may want to pack supplementary food.
  • 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.

Residential Programs at Mount Vernon

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9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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