For Immediate Release

Contact: Gaby Barahona | Teach For America
(213) 489-9272 x34183 | 

NEW YORK CITY, SEPTEMBER 5, 2012 —Teach For America today released its annual ranking of the colleges and universities contributing the greatest number of graduates to its 2012 teaching corps. The University of California-Berkeley is the No. 1 contributor among large schools with 88 graduates beginning their two-year Teach For America commitment this fall. Northwestern University tops all medium-sized schools, contributing 63 graduates. Among small schools, Wellesley College ranks highest with 21 graduates joining the corps. All three schools have appeared on the top contributors list since it was first released in 2008.

Teach For America corps members are top college graduates and professionals who commit to teach for two years in urban and rural public schools and become lifelong leaders in the pursuit of educational opportunity for all students. Teach For America recruits on more than 600 college campuses, seeking seniors and graduates from all academic majors and backgrounds who have demonstrated achievement, perseverance, and leadership.

This fall marks the first time more than 10,000 first- and second-year corps members will be teaching in high-need classrooms, representing a 10 percent increase over last year’s total corps size. The 5,800 first-year corps members earned an average GPA of 3.54 and represent more than 1,500 colleges and universities across the nation.

Thirty-eight percent of these first-year teachers identify as people of color, including 13 percent who are African American and 10 percent who are Hispanic. Thirty-five percent received Pell Grants (the most reliable indicator of a low-income background) and 23 percent are the first in their family to earn a college degree. Ninety-eight incoming corps members served as student body presidents at their alma mater. Twenty-three percent are graduate students or professionals from a wide range of backgrounds, including veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, financial analysts, nonprofit staffers, consultants, and participants in other AmeriCorps programs.

“We are grateful to the outstanding colleges and universities that cultivate graduates with the leadership skills and determination to address one of our nation’s greatest injustices, the disparity in educational opportunity between children in low-income communities and their wealthier peers,” said Wendy Kopp, chief executive officer and founder of Teach For America. “These corps members bring a diversity of experiences and accomplishments to the classroom, and they all share a powerful commitment to work toward solving this problem.”

Following are the five colleges or universities contributing the highest number of graduates to the 2012 corps in each of the three school-size categories (as defined by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching):

Large Schools
University of California-Berkeley (88 graduates to serve in the 2012 teaching corps)
University of Florida (78)
University of California-Los Angeles (75)
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (75)
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (71)/ University of Southern California (71)

Medium-Sized Schools
Northwestern University (63)
Harvard University (62)
Georgetown University (61)
Boston College (53)
University of Pennsylvania (41)/ Tulane University (41)

Small Schools
Wellesley College (21)
DePauw University (19)/ Amherst College (19)

ColoradoCollege (18)/ Denison University (18)
Barnard College (17)

MiddleburyCollege (15)/ Williams College (15)

View a complete list of the top contributors»

A rigorous and growing body of independent research demonstrates that Teach For America teachers are well-prepared and effective in the classroom. The latest report, released in February by the University of North Carolina, identified Teach For America as the most effective source of early-career teachers (less than five years of experience) among 12 teacher-preparation programs in the state. Recent studies in Louisiana and Tennessee also found Teach For America to be the most effective new-teacher-preparation program statewide.

This year’s corps members will reach 750,000 students in 46 regions across 36 states and the District of Columbia, including new sites in Northeast Ohio-Cleveland, Southwest Ohio, and Sacramento, California. They join Teach For America’s nearly 28,000 alumni who work across all sectors to expand educational opportunity.  Two-thirds are working full-time in education, with one-third as classroom teachers and one-third in other roles including principals and superintendents. A 2011 study by Harvard professor Monica Higgins and the American Enterprise Institute’s Rick Hess found that Teach For America is creating more founders and leaders of education organizations than any other organization or program.

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 individuals of all academic disciplines to commit two years to teaching in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the movement to end educational inequity. This fall, more than 10,000 corps members will be teaching in 46 urban and rural regions across the country, while nearly 28,000 alumni will work across sectors to ensure that all children have access to an excellent education. For more information, visit our website and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.