Teach For America Announces Colleges and Universities Contributing Most Alumni to its 25th-Anniversary Teaching Corps

Incoming Teacher Corps Brings Teach For America’s Total Leadership Force To More Than 50,000


New York, September 8, 2015—Teach For America today released its annual list of colleges and universities contributing the greatest number of alumni to its teaching corps. This year’s corps of 4,100 is among the most diverse in the organization’s history and as talented as ever; its members hail from nearly 830 colleges and universities, have an average GPA of 3.4, and bring a wealth of undergraduate, graduate, and professional experience to high-need classrooms across the country.

Among large schools, the University of California–Los Angeles contributed the greatest number of alumni to the corps, with 65 graduates beginning their Teach For America commitment this fall. The University of Pennsylvania topped medium-sized schools, contributing 36 alumni. Among small schools, Spelman College ranks highest, with 18 alumni joining the corps. Corps members commit to teach in urban and rural public schools and become lifelong leaders in expanding educational opportunity and working for social justice.

Fifteen percent of this year’s 44,000 applicants were admitted to the corps. More than 50 incoming teachers served as student-body presidents; more than 165 were NCAA Division 1 athletes; more than 90 received some of the country’s most prestigious scholarships; and more than 50 are Phi Beta Kappa members. Applicants hailed from more than 1,800 universities across all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C. They included 15 percent of seniors at Spelman College, 13 percent at Pomona College, 10 percent at Howard University, 9 percent at Williams, 7 percent at Dartmouth College, and 6 percent at Brown and Yale.

“We’re thrilled to welcome great leaders this year from such strong colleges and universities,” says Elisa Villanueva Beard, co-CEO of Teach For America. “For 25 years, we’ve been recruiting, developing, and supporting some of our nation’s most talented young leaders as they fight to end educational inequity. We’re grateful for the diverse and accomplished young people we’ve been connected to through our top contributing universities, and look forward to enlisting more of them in this work in the years to come.”

This year, nearly half of incoming corps members identify as people of color (compared with less than 20 percent of teachers nationwide); 47 percent come from low-income backgrounds; 34 percent are the first in their family to graduate from college; one-third applied as professionals or graduate students; more than 20 percent have backgrounds in science, technology, engineering, or math; and almost 20 percent will be teaching in the region they call home. More than 50 individuals have Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status, and 75 are veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces or spouses of active or veteran members of the military.

About Teach For America
Teach For America works in partnership with communities to expand educational opportunity for children facing the challenges of poverty. 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 effort to end educational inequity. Today, 8,800 corps members are teaching in 52 urban and rural regions across the country while more than 42,000 alumni work across sectors to ensure that all children have access to an excellent education. Teach For America is a proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network. For more information, visit www.teachforamerica.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.