For Immediate Release

Contact:  Kaitlin Gastrock | Teach For America
646.315.1396 | kaitlin.gastrock@teachforamerica.org

NEW YORK CITY, August 2, 2011— Teach For America today released its annual ranking of the colleges and universities contributing the greatest number of graduates to its 2011 teaching corps. The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor is the No. 1 contributor among large schools, with 119 graduates beginning their two-year Teach For America commitment this fall. Harvard University tops all medium-sized schools, contributing 66 graduates. Among small schools, Spelman College ranks highest, with 36 graduates joining the corps. All three schools have appeared on the top contributors list since it was first released in 2008, and each year Michigan and Spelman have been among the five largest contributors in their size categories.

Teach For America corps members are top college graduates and professionals who commit to teach for two years in underserved schools and become lifelong leaders in the pursuit of educational equity. Teach For America recruits on more than 1,500 college campuses, seeking seniors and graduates from all academic majors and backgrounds who have demonstrated achievement, perseverance, and leadership.

This year, nearly 48,000 individuals applied to Teach For America, and 14 percent were accepted. Because of the enormous number of highly qualified candidates, Teach For America was able to increase the size, strength, and diversity of the entering corps. Incoming corps members earned an average GPA of 3.6. Twenty-two percent are the first in their family to graduate from college, and nearly one-third received Pell Grants. More than one-third are people of color, including 12 percent who are African American and 8 percent who are Hispanic.
Following are the five colleges or universities contributing the highest number of graduates to the 2011 corps in each of the three school-size categories (as defined by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching):

Large Schools
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (119 graduates to serve in the 2011 teaching corps)
University of California-Berkeley (89)
University of Texas at Austin (87)
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (80)
University of Florida (75)/University of Southern California (75)

Medium-Sized Schools
Harvard University (66)
Boston College (56)
Georgetown University (54)
Duke University (53)
Brown University (49)/Northwestern University (49)

Small Schools
Spelman College (36)
Wellesley College (24)
Barnard College (21)
Amherst College (18)
Claremont McKenna College (17)/College of the Holy Cross (17)

View a complete list of the top contributors»

A growing body of rigorous research demonstrates the effectiveness of Teach For America corps members in the classroom. Recent studies from Louisiana, North Carolina and Tennessee found that corps members have a positive impact on student achievement. The Tennessee study identified Teach For America as the most effective of the state’s 42 teacher-preparation programs, with corps members demonstrating a greater impact on student achievement than the average new teacher in every evaluated subject area.

“For over 20 years, Teach For America has recruited exceptional young leaders from Spelman and colleges and universities across the country to join the movement for excellence and equity in education,” said Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, president of Spelman College. “Spelman strives to cultivate leadership and service among our graduates, and we are proud that so many Spelman women have joined Teach For America to create educational opportunities for underserved students.”

This fall, more than 9,000 first and second-year corps members will reach 600,000 students in 43 regions across 34 states and the District of Columbia, including new sites in the Appalachia region of Kentucky, Oklahoma City, Seattle, and the Pee Dee region of South Carolina.

Beyond their corps commitments, two-thirds of Teach For America alumni continue in the field of education, including 6,000 who work as K-12 classroom teachers. More than 550 Teach For America alumni work as school principals or school system leaders, and over 50 serve in elected office.

About Teach For America
Teach For America is the national corps of outstanding recent college graduates who commit to teach for two years in urban and rural public schools and become lifelong leaders in expanding educational opportunity. This fall, more than 9,000 corps members will be teaching in 43 regions across the country, while nearly 24,000 Teach For America alumni continue working from inside and outside the field of education for the fundamental changes necessary to ensure educational excellence and equity. For more information, visit http://www.teachforamerica.org.