19 DePauw grads commit to Teach for America effort

Thursday, September 20, 2012

DePauw University is tied for second among all of the nation's small schools when it comes to the number of graduates who have committed to serving in Teach For America's 2012 teaching corps.

Nineteen DePauw alumni have joined TFA this fall. Only Wellesley College, with 21 participants, had a greater total among small colleges. Amherst College matched DePauw's total of 19 new corps members.

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.

DePauw's 2012 Teach For America participants include: Ashlyn M. Archer of Greencastle, as well as Grace K. Ardery, Ellen M. Clayton, Allison M. Paul and Marisa L. Rouse.

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.

"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," says Wendy Kopp, chief executive officer and founder of Teach For America.

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, Calif. 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.

DePauw is consistently among the nation's top contributors to TFA and has had almost 150 alumni serve as corps members since the program's inception in 1990.

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