Application questions

How am I assigned to an 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 work at due to conflicts they have with the dates of each institute.  Candidates are then assigned to an institute based on the candidates’ current location and their conflicts listed out in their application.

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.

Can I apply to a different institute from the one to which my region is assigned?

Applicants who have a conflict that precludes them from attending the institute they would ordinarily be assigned to 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 about which pool they are in. 

If I apply to a regional institute role, could I still be assigned to a centralized institute?

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 applications to work at an institute other than the one where they would ordinarily be assigned.

Can I apply for more than one institute position?

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 position separately.

Where can I learn more about the applicant activity component of the application?

The applicant activity is a mandatory part of all of 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. 

Is there a staff waitlist?

Each year we waitlist approximately 15-20% of our accepted applicants. We use a waitlist 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 waitlisted applicants on an ongoing basis and set a final date to notify them of their status.

Can I receive feedback on my interview?

Unfortunately, due to the high volume of applications, we are unable to give individualized feedback on interviews. 

Are room and board covered for summer staff members?

Some institutes may choose not to cover room and board for summer staff members. Please reach out to that institute with this question specifically.



I'm an international student. Can I apply to work at the summer institute?

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. Effectively, 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 which is typically appropriate for international students is the operations coordinator position. International candidates should know that the duration of an operations coordinator role is 2 months, whereas the OPT is a 12 month, non-renewable visa. If an applicant uses the OPT visa towards an institute role, they will not be able to use it later towards another role within or outside of Teach For America. The operations coordinator role is not a precursor to a full-time position.

Can I be on institute staff and still apply for a full-time position with Teach For America?

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.

Can I be on institute staff if I have been accepted into the corps?

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 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.

What if I have worked on institute staff in the past?

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.

Can first-year corps members apply to be CMAs?

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 of the other qualifications of the CMA role, and we are occasionally able to make exceptions for those corps members.


Institute travel dates and preparation:

What do I need to do in preparation for the institute?

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 will need to arrive before the start of Week 0 (occurs during the week prior to when corps members arrive for institute) and depart after the end of the institute; however, the exact dates differ between institutes and positions. Generally, instructional staff members (school directors, corps member advisor coordinators, curriculum coordinators, curriculum specialists, literacy specialists, and corps member advisors) 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, 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.

Does Teach For America pay for my travel to and from the institute?

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.