Penn State among Teach for America's top 10 contributing schools

September 30, 2014

NEW YORK — Teach for America recently released its annual ranking of the colleges and universities contributing the greatest number of graduating college seniors to its 2014 teaching corps. For the past seven years, Penn State's University Park campus has ranked among the top colleges and universities of its size, and this year the University Park campus ranks seventh nationally among all participating colleges and universities.

The University Park campus tied with the University of Georgia and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, each contributing 55 teachers. In 2013, 43 recent Penn State graduates became part of Teach for America's corps. Members commit to teach in urban and rural public schools and become lifelong leaders in expanding educational opportunity.

The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor contributed the greatest number of alumni to the teaching corps, with 73 graduates beginning their Teach For America commitment. Schools are ranked by the total number of alumni they contributed to the 2014 corps.

This fall, 10,600 first- and second-year corps members are teaching in high-need classrooms across 50 regions. The 5,300 incoming corps members represent more than 850 colleges and universities and 49 states and the District of Columbia. Two-thirds of Teach For America's 2014 corps are graduating seniors from the class of 2014 and one-third are individuals with professional experience.

"We’re incredibly grateful for the wide range of colleges, universities and professional backgrounds that our corps members are coming from,” said Elisa Villanueva Beard, co-chief executive officer of Teach For America. “This is our most diverse corps yet — we really value the breadth of experience and identity that they’ll bring to the classroom.”

This year, half of corps members identify as people of color. Twenty-two percent identify as African-American. Five percent are African-American men, compared with 2 percent of teachers nationwide. Thirteen percent identify as Latino, 6 percent identify as Asian American or Pacific Islander, 6 percent identify as multi-ethnic/multi-racial, and 1 percent identify as Native. Forty-seven percent of incoming corps members received Pell Grants, a reliable indicator of low-income background, and one-third are the first in their family to attend college. Forty incoming corps members have Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status.

Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding college graduates and professionals to make an initial two-year commitment to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the movement to end educational inequity.

As the organization marks 25 years, its corps members bring an increasingly wide range of experience. More than one-third of the new corps members come to the corps from a graduate-degree program or a professional background. This includes individuals from the United States Armed Forces, law, consulting and education, as well as from service organizations such as the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps, and a variety of other sectors.

In addition to the corps, Teach For America's network of more than 37,000 alumni continue to work toward educational equity, with 86 percent working full-time in education or with low-income communities.

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Last Updated October 10, 2014