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ASU among nation’s top in Teach For America corps members


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  • Skip Derra/ASU Media Relations

AU Teach For America

Arizona State University ranked 11th in the nation among large universities for its number of graduating seniors joining Teach for America this year. Teach For America recently released it’s ranking of colleges and universities that contributed the greatest number of graduates to its 2014 teaching corps.

ASU moved up three spots from number 14 in 2013, with 50 students committing to join Teach for America. ASU is included in the “large schools” category among universities having 10,000 or more undergraduates.

ASU among nation's top in Teach For America corps members ASUTeachForAmericaHP2

An ASU student teaches second grade in south Phoenix using visual, aural and kinetic learning. ASU saw 50 students commit to joining Teach for America this year. Photo by: Eliza Gregory

“At ASU, students develop a commitment to change making,” said Nikki Gusz, strategic initiatives director in ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. “It is hard to think of a role where someone can impact lives more than that of a teacher. We are inspired to see so many current students and alums continually drawn to making a difference in the lives of all students.”

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 who make an initial two-year commitment to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the movement to end educational inequity.

This fall, 10,600 corps members will be teaching in 50 urban and rural regions across the U.S. while 37,000 alumni work across sectors to ensure that all children have access to an excellent education.

Teach for America has partnered with ASU since 2006, when President Michael Crow helped launch a shared commitment to developing and supporting future education leaders. ASU’s Teach for America partnership received the ASU President’s Medal for Social Embeddedness in 2008. The partnership is institution-wide with its coordination headquartered in Teachers College, Gusz said. The organizations work on new innovation together, such as the Changemaking in Education class, focused on education innovation, and offered in partnership with the Teachers College and Barrett, the Honors College.

Teach For America said this year’s teaching corps, which numbers 5,300, is the most diverse in its history.

The organization said effective teachers come from all backgrounds and academic interests, and bring diverse perspectives and experiences to the classroom. Teach For America also has found that maximizing diversity supports its effort to attract the top talent our country has to offer.

Among the new corp members, 50 percent identify as people of color (compared with less than 20 percent of all teachers nationwide), 47 percent received Pell Grants (an indicator of low-income background) and one-third are the first in their families to attend college.

Teach For America is known for attracting individuals with impressive professional, academic and leadership experience, and has long recognized the potential of teachers who share students’ backgrounds to serve as critical classroom leaders and role models.

For more information on Teach For America and other opportunities to Make Your Impact, visit: https://eoss.asu.edu/makeyourimpact.