Mississippi Teacher Corps

New teachers receive intense summer training, work in critical-needs schools in the Mississippi Delta or in Jackson for two years, and earn teaching degrees.

Aiming to rectify teacher shortages, as well as to develop the untapped teaching talent and leadership of college graduates, the Mississippi Teacher Corps is a program to look at. Designed for people with no formal background in teaching but who are passionate about becoming teachers. Especially for you if you love challenging yourself and want to engage young people and their communities though they may be very different from your own.

Placement and benefits

Corps members work in either Jackson, MS, or in the Mississippi Delta, and are placed in critical needs schools. They receive starting teacher salaries and health benefits in their districts as well as full tuition (including textbooks) from the University of Mississippi School of Education to pay for a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction. Read the full program description.

Training, support, and education

During the summer, first and second year Corps members team-teach classes at Holly Springs High School near Oxford, MS. New teachers are observed and receive feedback and guidance.

Throughout the two school years, Corps members travel back to the university for Saturday classes twice a month towards earning their Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction. Corps members’s training, classes and workshops are tailored to their unique experience and are not open to other students at University of Mississippi.

Multimedia

Reading the blogs of program director Ben Guest, instructor Ann Monroe, and Corps members, you definitely get the feeling that the structure and benefits of the program are tremendous gifts to Corps members, but that the real gift is working with the students.

Watch this interview with Ashley Johnson from the Class of 2006:

Cohort and community

The program also fosters a spirit of community and friendship among its Corps members. Many schools of education boast the cohort model (in which students start together, take all classes together, and graduate together), but require that students attend full-time in order to participate. On the other hand, many students who go to grad school part-time miss out on the cohort experience. Mississippi Teacher Corps engages the Corps as a learning cohort, although members take their education courses only part-time.

Deadlines and eligibility

As with Teach For America and other education service corps, the Mississippi Teacher Corps has a few deadlines throughout the winter. The next deadline is Nov. 25. See the other deadlines and application. Also, you don’t need to have been an education major, though a 3.0 minimum undergraduate Grade Point Average is expected.

Resources

Follow Mississippi Teacher Corps on Twitter.

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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Chicago’s Inner-City Teaching Corps

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.)

Competitiveness

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.

Career trajectory

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

Read more about this year’s Corps members, and about admissions. Note that the next application deadline is Nov. 5 — that’s next week! Also note that ICTC runs several other programs.

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.

Resources

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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Obama, McCain, and the future of national service

Major party candidates and their plans for national service

(Update on 9/11/08: this article from Chronicle of Philanthropy about the two Senators records on national service.)

Whatever you think of Senators Obama and McCain and their political parties, you probably hope that each of them has something valuable to add to the conversation about national service — after all, one of them will be president soon, and service corps alumni stand to fill the looming public service leadership shortage created as the Baby Boomer generation retires.

Register so that you can vote on November 4.

Barack Obama on National Service

Obama’s plan is listed as an issue on his site, and is expansive: tripling AmeriCorps and doubling Peace Corps; creating new service corps on education, health care, clean energy & green jobs, veterans, and homeland security; and engaging baby boomers on a larger scale. Reading the plan, you get the idea that the stereotype of a national service participant will no longer be that of someone young and inexperienced, and in fact, that stereotypes no longer apply. Participants will represent a wide cross-section of the United States, people who come to a term-of-service opportunity for many reasons. Read more on his web site, or download the plan (PDF). (His plan also addresses military service.)

Note that some service corps programs such as Peace Corps are currently shrinking number of participants due to budget restrictions.

Video from Service Vote ’08:

Here is Obama speaking Sept. 11 as part of the Service Nation Summit:

John McCain on National Service

McCain‘s plan has not been easy to track down, though he has been supportive of AmeriCorps, and was the first of the two candidates to agree to speak at the Service Nation Summit. In 2001, he published this article in The Washington Monthly explaining his views on the topic. McCain worked with Senator Evan Bayh (D-Indiana) in 2001 to try to expand national service, but has said that the war in Iraq has pushed these efforts to the “sidelines.” And in 2003 McCain worked to ask President Bush not to cut funding of AmeriCorps. (For some analysis of McCain’s history on the topic of national service, read “Service Interruption” by Washington Monthly‘s Paul Glastris. Also check out Steve Benen on “McCain, Obama, and National Service.”)

Video from Service Vote ’08:

Here is the first part of McCain’s interview on Sept. 11 at the Service Nation Summit: