Acceptance to Teach for America as Competitive as the Ivy League

teach-for-america-as-competitive-as-ivy-leagueDespite the high turn-over rate, the The New York Times reports that being hired by Teach for America is more competitive than ever. A record 46,359 applicants bid for only 4,500 positions nationwide, a 32 percent increase since 2009. Eighteen percent of the graduating class of Harvard applied for the program.

Will Cullen, who was accepted to Teach for America after graduating from Villanova, reported that a friend who was not hired instead will be a Fullbright scholar. Some students are not even trying to apply for the year following graduation, but instead try to gain related experience to boost their resumes.

Teach for America is particularly attractive in the difficult economic climate, promising a teacher’s starting salary according to the school district and two-years of job security. For Mr. Cullen, who will be working at a Dallas middle school, that’s a yearly $45,000–as much as an initial salary for a major PR firm.

The application process is lengthy, including an online application, a phone interview, a presentation of a lesson plan, a personal interview, a written test, and a monitored group discussion with several other applicants. Many students cite a desire to give back to their communities and close the achievement gap as reasons that motivated them to apply. “I feel very fortunate,” said Julianne Carlson, who will be teaching the first grade in San Antonio. “I knew a lot of people at Yale who didn’t have a job or plan when they graduated.”

9 Responses to “Acceptance to Teach for America as Competitive as the Ivy League”

  1. Jake Whitman says:

    This isn’t meant to be spam, but if any of you all are interested in Teach For America or have friends/relatives interested in applying for the program, I will be releasing a new book in October that will help interested applicants get into the program.

    The book is called Destination: Teach For America; building leadership, mastering the application, acing the interviews. Check out my website above for more information.

  2. ABC123 says:

    The high turnover rate has nothing to do with preperation, as Bunny claims. TFA is a two-year commitment.

  3. pete says:

    Teaching is a good way to consolidate a grasp of the essentials in one’s field, and this is a good way of giving back while continuing to grow. These kids will teach the teacher!

  4. Bunny says:

    Teach for America IS marvelous, but they need to better prepare graduateing seniors for the inexpected challenges of teaching in underprivileged neighborhood schools. Their high turnover rate is too much.

  5. nlb says:

    It used to be that many more smart women were attracted to teaching as one of the few professional categories open to them. As a consequence, truly bright teachers were attracted to our school systems. That doesn’t guarantee amazing teaching skills, but it’s a definite start. Teach for America takes us back to that starting point, with the advantage of bringing co-ed candidates to the party!

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