FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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NEW YORK CITY (Aug. 2, 2011) The nation’s top colleges and universities will contribute more than 2,300 of their graduating seniors to Teach For America’s 2011 teaching corps. The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor is the No. 1 contributor among large schools, with 119 graduates beginning their two-year Teach For America commitment this fall. Harvard University tops all medium-sized schools, contributing 66 graduates. Among small schools, Spelman College ranks highest, with 36 graduates joining the corps. All three schools have appeared on the top contributors list since it was first released in 2008, and each year Michigan and Spelman have been among the five largest contributors in their size categories.
Teach For America corps members are top college graduates and professionals who commit to teach for two years in underserved schools and become lifelong leaders in the pursuit of educational equity. Teach For America recruits on more than 1,500 college campuses, seeking seniors and graduates from all academic majors and backgrounds who have demonstrated achievement, perseverance, and leadership.
“For over 20 years, Teach For America has recruited exceptional young leaders from Spelman and colleges and universities across the country to join the movement for excellence and equity in education,” said Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, president of Spelman College. “Spelman strives to cultivate leadership and service among our graduates, and we are proud that so many Spelman women have joined Teach For America to create educational opportunities for underserved students.”
Admission to Teach For America this year was even more selective than in previous years, with a record 48,000 individuals applying to join and an 11 percent acceptance rate. Because of the enormous number of highly qualified candidates, Teach For America was able to increase the size, strength, and diversity of the entering corps. Incoming corps members earned an average GPA of 3.6, and 100 percent have held leadership positions. Twenty-two percent are the first in their family to graduate from college, and nearly one-third received Pell Grants. More than one-third are people of color, including 12 percent who are African American and 8 percent who are Hispanic.
Following are the five colleges or universities contributing the highest number of graduates to the 2011 corps in each of the three school-size categories (as defined by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching):
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (119 graduates to serve in the 2011 teaching corps)
University of California-Berkeley (89)
University of Texas at Austin (87)
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (80)
University of Florida (75)/University of Southern California (75)
Harvard University (66)
Boston College (56)
Georgetown University (54)
Duke University (53)
Brown University (49)/Northwestern University (49)
Spelman College (36)
Wellesley College (24)
Barnard College (21)
Amherst College (18)
Claremont McKenna College (17)/College of the Holy Cross (17)
A growing body of rigorous research demonstrates the effectiveness of Teach For America corps members in the classroom. Recent studies from Louisiana, North Carolina and Tennessee found that corps members have a positive impact on student achievement. The Tennessee study identified Teach For America as the most effective of the state’s 42 teacher-preparation programs, with corps members demonstrating a greater impact on student achievement than the average new teacher in every evaluated subject area.
This fall, some 9,300 first and second-year corps members will reach 600,000 students in 43 regions across 34 states and the District of Columbia, including new sites in the Appalachia region of Kentucky, Oklahoma City, Seattle, and the Pee Dee region of South Carolina.
About Spelman College
Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a highly selective, liberal arts college widely recognized as the global leader in the education of women of African descent. Located in Atlanta, Ga., the college’s picturesque campus is home to 2,100 students. Outstanding alumnae include Children's Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman; Sam’s Club CEO Rosalind Brewer; JPMorgan Chase Foundation President Kimberly Davis; former acting Surgeon General and Spelman’s first alumna President Audrey Forbes Manley; Harvard College Dean Evelyn Hammonds; author Pearl Cleage; and actress LaTanya Richardson Jackson. For more information, visit www.spelman.edu.