Here’s a graduation option
Teach for America seeks talented college graduates
Published: Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, February 2, 2011 11:02
With only 103 days left to graduation, some college seniors may be at a lost as to their future careers. So if you're still uncertain, or worried about finding a job, you might consider this option: Teach For America.
Teach for America is a non-profit organization that recruits recent college graduates to teach in low-income communities across the United States for two years. Teach for America's looks for individuals from all backgrounds, majors, and professional experiences.
"You could be that teacher who makes going to college possible for more African American kids growing up in any major rural or urban community where educational opportunities are scarce and unacceptable," said Crystal Ward recruitment director.
The program started in 1989, when founder Wendy Kopp came up with an idea to help decrease the educational inequity while writing her thesis at Princeton University.
The focus of the program is the nation's education gap. The educational gap is defined as the disparity between racial, gender, or socioeconomic groups on a number of educational measures. The gap can be observed in a variety of measures such as standardized test scores, grade point averages, drop-out rates and high school completion rates.
According to the Edwin Gould Foundation a recent study found that less than 17 percent of African American and Latino students will finish high school and graduate from college. Teach for America tries to match selected teachers to the region of their choice.
Salaries range from $31,000-$55,000 a year, based on the cost of living in the teaching location. Selected teachers also received a lump sum of $10,700 that can be used to pay off student loans or for future college expenses. They also receive medical insurance and moving expenses.
The program requires a 2.5 GPA, evidence of leadership and perseverance, and a desire to make an impact on a child's life.
The competition to get into Teach for America is fierce: Last year just 4,500 out of 45,000 were admitted into the program.
The application deadline for Teach for America is Feb. 4. It is available at www.teachforamerica.org.