Massachusetts Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP)

Massachusetts EPFP is a professional development program for individuals who seek to enhance their knowledge and develop their skills in leadership and public policy. The program in Massachusetts is one of fifteen state sites of the national EPFP program sponsored by the Institute for Educational Leadership in Washington, D.C. The program has been preparing leaders and policymakers in education and human services since 1964.

The ten-month program is organized around three major elements that shape the EPFP experience for fellows:

  • Leadership: Through the EPFP experience, fellows learn about their own leadership style as well as models of leadership prominent in the education and human services fields. A primary goal of the program is to help fellows become more effective leaders in their workplace and to develop the skills to advance effective policies.
  • Public Policy: Fellows gain an understanding of the public policy process at the local, state, and national levels. The emphasis is on the entire education continuum from birth through college and career success with discussion of both in-school and out-of-school factors. Fellows emerge from the program with a better understanding of how the policy process works within their particular state context as well as how they can impact policymaking.
  • Building Professional Networks: Fellows have numerous opportunities to connect with other EPFP participants in Massachusetts as well as fellows in the other state EPFP sites. The networking connections fellows develop are an important part of the learning process and can also facilitate career advancement.


Massachusetts EPFP offers a unique opportunity for individuals interested in education to engage in discussions and activities focused on important leadership and policy issues. The core of the program is a series of monthly seminars featuring an impressive array of guest speakers who lead discussions on their areas of expertise in leadership and public policy. However, fellows also engage in a variety of other learning experiences throughout the year. The program begins in the fall with an overnight retreat that promotes team-building and offers a chance for fellows to reflect on their personal leadership styles.  In the spring, an outing to Beacon Hill allows fellows to delve more deeply into the state policy-making process.

Participants also have the chance to look beyond the Massachusetts context at two out-of-state learning experiences. The fall Regional Leadership Forum in Pennsylvania and the spring Washington Policy Seminar bring together fellows from many of the fifteen EPFP state cohorts, offering opportunities for constructive and enlightening conversations on education policy issues. During both meetings, experts in the field offer a variety of presentations, workshops, informal discussions, and simulations.



EPFP fellows are typically sponsored by their employers, who play an important role in the success of the program. Participation in EPFP benefits sponsors by exposing employees to networking opportunities and significant professional development experiences. Sponsors typically pay program fees and travel costs, as outlined below, and facilitate attendance by fellows at seminars and national conferences.

The costs for the 2016-17 year are as follows:

Program Fee $2,950
Travel Expenses $1,900 (estimated expenses)
Total $4,850


Application Process

Massachusetts EPFP selects 20-30 fellows each year to participate in the program. Bringing in fellows from a wide range of backgrounds and professional experiences enriches discussions and facilitates career development; therefore, applicants from a wide range of education-related positions are encouraged to apply. Successful applications typically come from individuals who have some experience in the education field and who are interested in expanding their leadership and policy knowledge and skills.

The application for the 2017-18 cohort will be released in the spring of 2017. If you have any questions or would like to receive the application when it is released, please contact Laura Dziorny, Chief of Staff at the Rennie Center.