Strong support from the district and the principal are required for a school to be considered for participation. Once a school is selected, the Cotsen Foundation for the Art of Teaching invites all experienced teachers within a school to apply to become a Cotsen fellow.
Interested teachers complete applications and the foundation screens and selects both a highly accomplished teacher as the mentor and a cohort of five to eight teachers for fellowships. During the screening process, each applicant is observed teaching a complete lesson by two to four educators from outside that school district. An interview with the applicant follows. The foundation seeks to reach the top 20 percent of the teaching faculty, so the screening is very selective and not all applicants are chosen.