Welcome to the Education Policy
Fellowship Program


Minnesota's Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP) is a partnership of the Washington D.C. based Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL), the Minnesota based Center for Policy Design (CPD) and the Minnesota based Educational Evolving (EE). All three organizations are non-partisan, non-profit, 501(c)(3) organizations. This year is the 42nd year of the Fellowship program in Minnesota.

In October 2016 Minnesota EPFP celebrated it's 40th Anniversary with a special evening at the Minnesota History Center. Plans are already underway to celebrate Minnesota's EPFP Fellowship in 2021. View the 40th Anniversary Program, including "40 Years of Minnesota Fellows".

This is the eighth year that the CPD has served as the Minnesota partner with IEL and the second year for EE. For the first 34 years of the program the College of Education at the University of Minnesota was the Minnesota based partner.

The first year of the Fellowship was 1975-76. Since then 525 Fellows have completed this unique policy experience. Together they form an important network in Minnesota and the nation. We hope you will consider applying to be part of this outstanding tradition of policy leadership.

The Fellowship – What You Can Expect

The Fellowship has as a primary focus on state and federal policy development and the leadership that is necessary to influence policy development. It is designed to expand and update your working knowledge of state and federal policy design, enactment and implementation.

Creating a Safe Environment for Open Conversation - the Dinner Seminars, the Minnesota Policy Seminar (MPS) and Washington Policy Seminar (WPS)

The dinner seminars are the backbone of the Fellowship. They are designed to provide an up close and personal experience that will include discussions and conversations with key members of Minnesota's executive and legislative branch and their staff. In addition, there is a one day Minnesota Policy Seminar (MPS) at the Capitol and four day Washington Policy Seminar (WPS) in Washington D.C.

Minnesota EPFP has a proud history of trust with those who will discuss, very candidly, some of the most sensitive problems and solutions facing our state and nation. Fellows can, and should, talk about the sessions but we ask that they not attribute names as part of your conversations with others.

The Learning Model

The Fellowship’s instructional process is experiential. It is based on the belief that knowledge and skills are “the residue that is left when the experience wears off”. Therefore, there are no required outside readings or required papers. A short weekly reflection will be requested.

We will recommend books that you may want to read. While we think the books are useful additions to the Fellowship they are not required

What is required is to be present and participate. We understand that there will be situations that will arise that will cause a Fellow to miss a session. If a Fellow misses too many sessions we will not be able to certify her/his completion of the Fellowship.

Continuing education credits can be arranged.

A Working Definition of Public Policy

There are many working definitions of the term “public policy”. To help us be clear in our policy discussions we will use the following definitions of public policy:

Policy is a course of action, for a given period of time, based on a given set of circumstances, designed to influence future decisions or actions.

Policy Design is a proposal for action, for a given period of time, based on a given set of circumstances, designed to influence future decisions or actions.

To better understand the creation of state and federal policy the Fellowship uses the "Policy Design Brief" to provide guidance, to provide a pathway, on how to advance public policy designs (proposals for action).

Problems (Conditions), Policies, Politics

Public policy starts with a condition or a problem. A condition is something that no one will invest effort in. If you believe that “poverty will always be with us” then you believe that poverty is a condition. If poverty will always be with us why work on it?

A condition must be turned in to a problem before you can convince someone to work on it. Once you have a problem clearly identified you can develop a policy to address it. What is left then is the politics of getting it enacted and then implemented.

You will hear often during the Fellowship - “What is the (policy) problem, what is the (policy) goal and what is the policy design (the policy how), how to get the policy adopted (the political how), and how to get it implemented (the implementation how).


Policy work takes leadership - both transactional and transformational. One cannot get to transformation in the policy arena without a sold base of transactional leadership. This will be a recurring theme through out the Fellowship.


Part A

Part B - (Optional)

Download an Application

Interested to apply? Download an application. (Depending how your device is configured the application can be opened in two ways: download and open -- or you may need to "save", then "open", then "enable editing" if that is indicated.)