National & Regional Institutes
There are six national institutes. Corps members typically train at the one that is closest to their placement region. National institutes are generally five weeks long and offer corps members the opportunity to build relationships and collaborate with fellow corps members and summer staff members from across the country.
There are nine regional institutes where corps members are trained within their fall placement region, usually with corps members only from that region. Regional institutes have an additional opportunity to help corps members build a deeper understanding of the community and its people. Since regional institutes incorporate induction and orientation, they usually last seven to eight weeks.
Assignments & Locations
Applying for Institute Positions
- How am I assigned to an institute?
- Can I apply to a different institute from the one to which my region is assigned?
- If I apply to a regional institute role, could I still be assigned to a centralized institute?
- Can I apply for more than one institute position?
- Where can I learn more about the applicant activity component of the application?
- Is there a staff waitlist?
- Can I receive feedback on my interview?
- Are room and board covered for summer staff members?
- I'm an international student. Can I apply to work at the summer institute?
- Can I be on institute staff and still apply for a full-time position with Teach For America?
- Can I be on institute staff if I have been accepted into the corps?
- What if I have worked on institute staff in the past?
- Can first-year corps members apply to be Corps Member Advisers?
- What do I need to do in preparation for institute?
- Does Teach For America pay for my travel to and from the institute?
Applicants are assigned to institutes based on their current location (for example, candidates living in New Orleans have historically been assigned to the Atlanta Institute because incoming New Orleans corps members attend the Atlanta Institute). In the online application, candidates are also asked to identify which institutes they are unable to attend due to schedule conflicts. Candidates are then assigned to an institute based on current locations and conflicts listed in their applications.
Depending upon the number of applicants in each institute’s pool, our corps size, and other factors, we may interview some applicants to work at an institute other than the one where they would ordinarily be assigned.
Applicants who have a conflict that precludes them from attending the institute where they would ordinarily be assigned may be considered for another applicant pool. In your online application, you will have the opportunity to indicate any potential conflicts with each of the institutes. Examples of significant conflicts include being the primary caregiver for an elderly or sick family member, a conflict with end-of-school dates, etc. In the event that we have a dramatic overflow of applicants at one institute, we may move candidates to other institute pools. The institute leadership team will make decisions on a case-by-case basis and will confirm with applicants who are granted an interview which pool they are in.
While the regional institute roles require a separate application, it is still possible for you to be assigned to a centralized institute and vice versa. Depending upon the number of applicants in each institute’s pool, the similarities between roles across centralized and regional institutes, our corps size, and other factors, we may assign some applicants to work at an institute other than the one where they would ordinarily be assigned.
Yes, you can apply for more than one institute position. The required activities for each position vary; therefore, you will need to apply to each different separately.
The applicant activity is a mandatory part of all the summer institute roles. To learn more about the applicant activities, please review the entire job description for each role. The applicant activity information is located at the bottom of the job description. It will also be provided to you in an email you will receive once you have started your online application.
Each year we waitlist approximately 15 to 20 percent of our accepted applicants. We use a wait list so that as we have a final count of new corps members and we find a need for additional institute staff members, we can make offers quickly. We communicate with wait-listed applicants on an ongoing basis and set a final date to notify them of their status.
Unfortunately, due to the high volume of applications, we are unable to give individualized feedback on interviews.
Some institutes may choose not to cover room and board for summer staff members. Please reach out to your selected institute with this question specifically.
In order to work at Teach For America's summer institute, international applicants must have an appropriate work visa that will allow them to legally work in the United States. Since summer institute positions are for such a short tenure, Teach For America will not sponsor individuals for work visas for such roles. Alternatively, an international student can apply for an Optional Practical Training (OPT) visa through their university. The applicant is fully responsible for applying for and securing such a visa through their university and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. International candidates cannot work for us unless they already have an active F-1 visa, or until they have their OPT. The only institute role that is typically appropriate for international students is the operations coordinator position. International candidates should know that the duration of an operations coordinator role is two months, whereas the OPT is a 12-month, nonrenewable visa. Applicants who use the OPT visa toward an institute role will not be able to use it later toward another role within or outside Teach For America. The operations coordinator role is not a precursor to a full-time position.
Yes, you can apply for both an institute staff position and a full-time position with Teach For America. Separate applications are required, and applicants will be considered separately for both positions. Should you receive offers for both positions, the senior managing director of institute and the manager for the full-time role can address the feasibility of taking both positions.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to hold a position on institute staff if you are an incoming corps member. It is of critical importance that our incoming corps members be able to focus on their professional development as educators and on student achievement during the institute. Additionally, institute staff positions require work hours during the same hours that the incoming corps will be teaching and in sessions, so it is not logistically possible to do both at the same time.
If you have worked on institute staff in the past, please indicate that on the online application. Also, note that you may have a different topic for your letter of intent than first-time applicants.
Given that classroom experience is so important to supporting new corps members, we generally prefer that CMAs have at least two years teaching experience by the time they start the job. We do recognize, however, that every year there are a handful of first-year corps members who meet all the other qualifications of the CMA role, and we are occasionally able to make exceptions for them.
Most staff members need to attend several weekend conferences in the spring to prepare for the institute. Also, they will likely need to participate in several training conference calls with pre-work.
If you have further questions about these dates and whether they apply to the position(s) you are interested in, please contact your institute or talent recruitment representative.
All staff members need to arrive before the start of Week 0 (the week prior to when corps members arrive for institute) and depart after the end of institute; however, the exact dates differ among institutes and positions. Generally, instructional staff members (school directors, corps member adviser coordinators, curriculum coordinators, curriculum specialists, literacy specialists, and corps member advisers) need to arrive one to three days before the start of Week 0 and depart two to four days after the end of the institute. Depending on the institute, school directors may be asked to arrive even slightly earlier or stay later to build their school site relationships. In general, operational staff members (operations directors, school operations manager coordinators, school operations managers, operations coordinators, and directors of data management) need to arrive at least two to seven days before the start of Week 0 and depart four to seven days after the end of the institute. The start and end dates for each institute define the dates that corps members will be in attendance. Institute staff members will receive communication regarding exact move in dates and procedures from their institute management team at a later date.
The institute will cover travel costs to the institute up to a certain amount. More details about travel reimbursement will be available in the spring. Teach For America also covers shipping costs for instructional materials and computer supplies up to a certain amount. Details for shipping will be outlined during staff training in the spring.