Determining Your Assignment
Teach For America makes every effort to honor your preferences, while also addressing the needs in the communities with which we partner.
Our assignment process takes into account your preferences, your qualifications and schedule, and where there is a need for Teach For America teachers:
Need and Opportunity
The nature of our mission requires us to consider where the need for certain teachers is greatest. By placing corps members where they are most needed, we maximize our impact on student outcomes. Still, once we know where you qualify to teach and where the need for you is greatest, we do everything we can to assign you to your most highly preferred region. Please note that due to testing and hiring timelines, the following regions will be unavailable for the March 6, 2015 application deadline: The Bay Area, Los Angeles, Metro Atlanta, Sacramento, San Diego, and Twin Cities. We recommend you apply to our January 30, 2015 deadline to be considered for all 50 of our partner regions.
You provide your preferences when you are invited to a final interview and rank the regions, subjects, and grade levels you would like to teach.
Qualifications and Coursework Requirements
The different states and school districts with which we partner have varying certifications requirements for the teachers they hire. These requirements can include minimum GPA, majors, or coursework prerequisites. Your qualifications and coursework are an important factor in your assignment, because we can only assign you to regions, subjects, and grade levels where you meet the local requirements to be legally certified to teach.
These requirements are quite complex and change often, so we do not have a comprehensive requirement list available for applicants. You can visit our regional pages to learn about baseline requirements for teacher certification in a particular region.
Your Summer Schedule
All of our regions have required summer training, but the training schedules vary by region. All incoming corps members are required to attend the entirety of their region's summer training. If you have an irresolvable conflict with a region's summer training, you cannot be placed in that region.
When do I find out about my assignment?
When you receive your final admissions decision, you will get information about where you’ll teach and what subject and grade level you’re tentatively assigned to teach.
However, the information you receive when you are admitted is tentative. Your subject and grade level may change based on the particular hiring needs of your school district as that district determines what vacancies need to be filled before the new school year. For example, if you were initially assigned to teach 6th grade English, you may end up teaching 2nd grade reading if your school district's needs change.
How likely am I to get my preferred assignment?
During the 2013-2014 application window, applicants were assigned to their highly preferred region 77% of the time. Applicants were assigned to one of their preferred regions (including their most highly preferred) 97% of the time. However, the likelihood of being assigned to a preferred region depends on the region and the applicant. For example, if you preference a region where you are not legally eligible to teach or where you have a summer training conflict, you will not be placed in that region.
Unfortunately, not all of our regions are equally popular among applicants. New York, D.C. Region, Bay Area, Massachusetts, and Los Angeles are our top five most popular regions. In 2013-2014, 60% of applicants highly preferred at least one of those regions, but all five of those regions combined only made up 16% of placements available in the corps. If you prefer a very popular region, keep in mind that you are less likely to get that assignment, simply because the number of placements there is limited.
Do my preferences affect whether or not I am admitted?
Your regional preferences have no bearing on admissions, but they do make it more or less difficult for us to place you in your desired region. We encourage you to keep an open mind and be flexible when deciding your preferences for grade levels, subjects, and regions. Flexibility means being open to not just similar regions (i.e. choosing only regions located in large urban areas) but to regions that are qualitatively different from one another (i.e. choosing a region located in a large urban area, while also choosing a region located in a more rural part of the country).
Spotlight: Las Vegas Valley
Less than half of Clark County's 300,000 students graduate from high school and Nevada's high school graduation rate ranks last in our entire nation. Since 2004, Teach For America has been partnering with schools across the region to change these statistics.
Spotlight: Special Initiatives
Read more about our special initiatives: Early Childhood Education, Math and Science Education, and Native Achievement.
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