Teach For America’s Corps Member Admissions Policies
Admissions policies, including background checks, deferrals, and reapplying, are listed below. For information about the application process, including prerequisites and deadlines, visit How to Join.
For any questions about the information provided on this page, please contact us.
Teach For America may require additional information from applicants before determining whether to invite them to an interview.
Teach For America reserves the right to collect information from applicants at a later date and use this information in admissions decisions.
Failure to respond to requests for more information is grounds for non-admission or dismissal.
Corps members are expected to submit to any and all background checks required by their school districts, charter schools, other employers, Teach For America, and other relevant agencies. Teach For America reserves the right to deny admission to or dismiss any corps member who has been involved in a criminal proceeding other than minor traffic violations, regardless of the outcome. Because it could affect your employment as a teacher, this policy includes criminal matters that were handled by a juvenile court and final determinations that are under seal or otherwise expunged from the public record.
Teach For America is not responsible for finding alternative placements for corps members who cannot be hired or who are fired by their assigned school districts because of their criminal records or involvement in criminal proceedings, or who are deemed ineligible by Teach For America due to criminal history. In addition, Teach For America reserves the right to inform the school district in which the corps member is teaching or planning to teach of the corps member’s conviction records or ongoing involvement in criminal proceedings.
If, through background checks conducted or commissioned by a state, district, or Teach For America, it is found that an applicant or a corps member did not disclose his/her involvement in a criminal proceeding in the application as required and described above, this may be treated as falsification or misrepresentation, which are grounds for dismissal from the corps.
If a background check conducted or reviewed by Teach For America yields a criminal record that would preclude an applicant or corps member from service, the applicant or corps member will be notified of the finding and have the opportunity to review and challenge the factual accuracy of the record before action is taken to exclude the applicant or corps member from the position. In such cases, details on the process for obtaining and challenging the results of the background check will be included in the notification of findings.
In order to ensure a fair admissions process for all, Teach For America requires all applicants to treat each phase of the application process as confidential. We require that applicants refrain from disclosing or sharing with others information or materials provided by Teach For America that are not otherwise publicly available. Disclosing confidential information regarding the application process is grounds for non-admission or dismissal.
Please note that we do not endorse and are not responsible for the accuracy of information that has been developed and provided by third-party non-Teach For America sources.
Though rare, deferrals are typically granted for admitted applicants who have serious emergencies or who have a unique opportunity (ex: working on a political campaign, military service, and training for/participating in the Olympics) that will significantly add to their value in the classroom or to ending educational inequity.
Admitted applicants may submit a request for a one-year deferral. We are unable to offer multiple-year deferrals, except in the event of serious family or medical emergencies. Each deferral request will be reviewed and evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the Admissions team and the staff members of the applicant’s assigned region. Candidates granted deferrals will have a place in the corps in their assigned region the following year.
Teach For America values people with disabilities and believes in their ability to address issues of educational inequity. Teach For America is committed to providing equal access and opportunities to candidates with disabilities, and prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in the application process, in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and similar state laws.
Teach For America provides reasonable accommodations for candidates with disabilities at every stage of the application process. Disclosing a disability or requesting a need for accommodations is a separate and distinct process from admissions and will have absolutely no bearing on a candidate’s application status. Teach For America will make every effort to meet your request, but specific requests are not guaranteed. All disclosed information will be kept confidential within Teach For America.
If you need to request an accommodation or have any questions regarding our Disability Accommodations Policy, please contact our disabilities accommodations office at DAO@teachforamerica.org.
Falsification or misrepresentation of any sort, including plagiarism, on the application or supporting materials is grounds for non-admission or dismissal.
Given the volume of applications Teach For America receives, we are unable to provide individual feedback about admissions decisions to applicants who are not accepted at any stage of the application process.
Teach For America is committed to a policy of equal treatment and opportunity in our interactions with our applicants, corps members, and staff members without regard to race, color, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, marital status, military status, pregnancy, or parenthood.
If you have issues or concerns related to this policy, please contact us.
Candidates may only apply to Teach For America once during an admissions year but are welcome to reapply during subsequent admissions years. For example, candidates who apply for the 2019 corps will not be eligible to reapply at a later deadline during the 2018-2019 school year. However, they may reapply during the 2020 admissions season, beginning August 2019.
Teach For America reserves the right to use any and all information submitted in previous applications when making admissions decisions.
It is the responsibility of applicants to report any material change in the information provided in their applications as soon as a material change occurs, even if such material change occurs after admission into the corps. Candidates are required to notify Teach For America within 14 days of the change occurring, including but not limited to criminal records/proceedings, employment status, or academic standing.
Teach For America reserves the right to rescind admissions decisions or dismiss corps members based off such material changes. Failure to inform Teach For America of such material change is grounds for non-admission, rescission of the admission offer, or dismissal from the corps.
Teach For America reserves the right to rescind admissions decisions or dismiss corps members for any reason. Such reasons may include, but are not limited to:
- Breaches in integrity such as falsification or misrepresentation or sharing confidential information about Teach For America, other applicants, corps members, etc.
- Significant material change (e.g., being terminated from employment due to performance, significant change in academic standing, etc.)
- Any evidence that raises reasonable concerns
In order to respect the integrity of the application process, Teach For America will generally not consider information about applicants that comes outside of the application process. However, we do reserve the right to investigate further any information brought to our attention that raises a reasonable concern.
While Teach For America does not distinguish between accreditation types, it is possible our university and/or certification partners may have more specific requirements. If you suspect your degree-granting institution may not meet certain accreditation requirements, you are encouraged to research the certification requirements for the school district where you are interested in teaching to learn more.