Teach For America is a national corps of outstanding recent college graduates from all majors who commit to teach in high need urban and rural public schools for two years. In late 2006, ASU President Michael Crow and Teach For America - Phoenix came together to create a partnership that includes: Teach For America recruitment, corps member support and development, alumni leadership and the Phoenix Institute. Through the generous support of philanthropist T. Denny Sanford, this strong foundation also led to the creation of the Sanford Inspire Program, which integrates the best practices of colleges of education and Teach For America to attract, prepare and retain future education leaders.
ASU’s Teach For America partnership received the ASU President’s Medal for Social Embeddedness in 2008. The partnership is institution wide, and coordination of the partnership is headquartered in the Teachers College.
Teach For America Recruitment
ASU and Teach For America collaborate to increase the number of ASU graduates who join Teach for America and serve in the Phoenix teaching corps. Corps members strive to meet the needs of local children, while developing the leadership skills necessary to tackle education issues in Arizona and beyond. Teach For America corp members receive a full salary, benefits, student loan assistance and future graduate school and employment opportunities. After two years, Teach For America alumni go on to successful careers in education, policy, law, medicine and business, and they serve as lifelong advocates for their students.
ASU and Teach For America are engaged in several recruitment activities including sending letters annually to ASU seniors encouraging them to apply to the corps. In 2012, ASU was one of the top twenty large universities in the country recruiting students into Teach For America. Additionally, a Think Tank made up of key stakeholders from both ASU and Teach For America meets monthly to discuss recruitment of students into Teach For America and other avenues for partnership.
Teacher Support and Development
Teach For America - Phoenix corps members have the opportunity to apply for and enroll in ASU’s Teachers College to work towards a Masters degree with teaching certification in early childhood education, elementary education, secondary education or special education. The program is tailored specifically to the unique teaching experience of corps members.
Teach For America and ASU strive to retain Teach For America alumni in Arizona and attract alumni from other parts of the country who will take on leadership roles as advocates for children. As part of this effort, ASU’s Teachers College, the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and the W. P. Carey School of Business all offer educational incentives created specifically for Teach For America alumni.
ASU has committed to offer five Teach For America alumni fellowships annually for students pursuing graduate degrees in educational leadership from the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. The Fellowship is in its sixth year with 17 graduates and 13 current students. It has been renewed through 2015 and will produce 50 Teach For America alumni who are certified to lead Arizona schools. Learn more about the ASU and Teach for America Alumni Education Leadership Fellowships.
The Teach For America Phoenix Institute is a rigorous five-week summer preparation program where new corps members develop the skills necessary to become successful teachers in urban and rural schools across the country. Phoenix is one of only a few cities in the nation selected to house a Teach For America summer institute. The approximately 700 corps members who attend the Phoenix Institute go on to become first-year teachers in several cities across the United States. The Phoenix Institute is held at the ASU Tempe campus.