New teachers serve for two years in Chicago’s Catholic and charter schools, live in supportive inter-faith communities, earn alternative teacher certification, and work towards their education degree.
The Inner-City Teaching Corps of Chicago aims to transform education in under-served communities and to empower children in urban schools. The organization houses two programs that create and train new teachers who work in under-resourced schools in Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods.
Eligibility & placement
The Volunteer Teaching Corps recruits and supports recent college graduates, and the Urban Impact Through Education (UNITE) program brings “proven leaders from the business world into the teaching profession.”
As with Teach For America and other education service corps you don’t need to have been an education major, though a 3.0 minimum undergraduate Grade Point Average is expected.
ICTC places its Corps members in Catholic and charter schools because its Corps members are working towards alternative certification during their first year of service.
Alternative certification and education
The Corps’s Alternative Teacher Certification Program is a partnership with Northwestern University that adds a diverse group of talented new teachers to Chicago’s schools and allows Corps members to earn up to 22 credits towards an M.S. in Education during their term of service. Read more about ICTC’s professional development benefits.
Community living and other benefits
Volunteer Teaching Corps members live in supportive communities with other six or seven other Corps members—communities that are spiritual, and inter-faith, depending on the beliefs of the community members. Corps members receive room and board, health insurance, and a $5/day allowance. They can defer qualified student loans, and earn the Eli Segal AmeriCorps Education Award for each year they are in the program. (Corps members use the first year of the Ed Award to contribute to the cost of the first eight Northwestern University course credits towards their degree.)
This year 35-40 Corps members serve in the Volunteer Teacher Corps, but the program gets five times that number of applications. About 35 teachers serve in the UNITE program for mid-career professionals transitioning into the field of education.
While teachers nationally tend to stay in the classroom an average of 3-5 years before burning out, almost 90 percent of ICTC-trained teachers are still in the field of education, according to the organization’s 2007 Annual Report.
More info and open house
Also note that the Volunteer Teaching Corps hosts a weekend-long open house in mid-January called the Come & See Weekend (January 15-18, 2009). Participants in the weekend stay in the VTC communities, participate in a Corps member’s classroom, and visit Chicago’s South and West Sides. Another application deadline follows that weekend on January 21.
For more resources on graduate education, check out the Idealist.org Public Service Graduate Education Resource Center, and if you live in the U.S. South, come out to one of our graduate admissions fairs touring New Orleans and Atlanta in the coming days.
This week The New Service blog is looking at education service corps. While many service corps programs have application due dates in the spring for a fall start date, most education service corps have deadlines throughout the winter and start in the summer. Check out this list of education-related opprotunities that don’t require an education degree.
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