By Ana Martinez-OrtizLast week, Teach for America (TFA) and Alverno College made an exciting announcement. Starting this month, Alverno became the primary teacher certification provider for Milwaukee’s TFA chapter.
TFA and Alverno initially partnered up six years ago and began working to improve the education system in Milwaukee, and by extending the lives of the students and teachers involved. Aside from their team effort, each entity has proven to be a formidable force on its own.
According to their website, TFA began in 1990 under Wendy Kopp, who realized that despite the advancements being made at the time, low-income schools were still struggling to provide a quality education for their students. Through her efforts, she gathered a team of recent college graduates and placed them in urban and rural schools that needed help.
From there, TFA continued to grow and expand and currently exists in 53 regions where 390,000 students are being taught.
Alverno was established under the School Sisters of St. Francis. It is a four-year Catholic liberal arts college. While offering a plethora of degrees, Alverno also wants its students to take their skills and go beyond campus, which is where organizations like TFA come in.
“Together, Alverno and Teach for America will work to support a diverse, robust teacher and leadership pipeline in Milwaukee,” said Dr. Patricia Luebke, dean of the College of Professional Studies at Alverno, “that’s a good thing for students, families and the entire region.”
This next step in their partnership will make it easier for college graduates to obtain a degree in teaching and help provide quality teachers for TFA. Together, they will design a program specifically for graduates joining TFA that certifies them in exchange for a two-year commitment to serve Milwaukee’s low-income schools. The program design will aim to incorporate both the teachers and students experiences in a proactive learning environment.
After these two years, TFA corps members can earn a teaching license and obtain a master’s degree in education.
According to the press release, “The partnership directly supports Alverno’s strategic plan, which calls for expanding the college’s widely admired history in teacher preparation and primary focus on preparing educators for urban and high-need schools.”
“We look forward to our strengthened collaboration with Alverno College as together we build a program that will equip our teachers with the skills and knowledge to become transformative educators,” said Walter Bond, executive director of TFA–Milwaukee.
Since its initial inception in Milwaukee nine years, TFA has had 530 members join, including graduates from Marquette University and Cardinal Stritch University.
To learn more about TFA or to apply go to www.teachforamerica.com.