Teach for America touted as job alternative for grads

Graduating from college during today’s economic uncertainty is a scary feat.
To ease tensions Sarah Troyer, a Teach For America representative at Grambling State University, explained that the program might benefit students who are about to face the real world. “We are looking to solve the achievement gap,” said Troyer, who added that low-income students are typically three grades behind their peers by the time they reach fourth grade.

“That’s so early on in your educational experience,” said Troyer.
Teach for American hires top graduates from all majors to teach in low-income areas after training them for five weeks at a summer institute.

Teachers receiving training are paired with veteran teachers and taught the basics of lesson planning and classroom management. The veteran teachers remain mentors to the new teachers during their two years in the classroom.

Troyer insisted that the training prepares the teachers for inner city realities.
“We are definitely up front with our corp members,” said Troyer. “It’s very intense . but it’s also very guided.”
To make the teachers more familiar with their students and the areas they will live in, Teach for America representatives encourage them to become involved in the community.

For students and other would-be teachers, an opportunity to find out more about Teach for America will be presented next week.
An online event titled “Achieving Education Equity: A Conversation with Wendy Kopp” will be hosted April 29 at 7 p.m. Central Time. Any computer with Internet access can connect to the event.

Kopp is Teach For America’s CEO and founder. She created Teach For America 20 years ago to address educational disparities between low-income and wealthier children.
Interested people should log onto www.teachforamerica.org and click on “Admissions” followed by “Attend an online event” or register prior to the event at http://event.on24.com/r.htm?e=205483&s=1&k=44FBAEE22F614741971905373944EA27.
Troyer said that about 95 percent of the corps members were not education majors and came from various academic backgrounds.
All teachers must have at least a bachelor’s degree. There are 35 different regions of the program.

The program offers scholarships, transitional funding and zero interest loans to participants.
Troyer joined the GSU staff after working at Purdue University.

She studies and works to close the educational achievement gap, with special attention paid to HBCU students.