Training for Teach for America
The College of Education welcomed its largest group of TFA students to date.
By Claire Miller
Emma Thomas, a Teach for America student in the College of Education, assists Freedom Middle School students Adriana Wright and Amanuel Gebremariam.
This fall, the College of Education welcomed 174 Teach For America (TFA) members to campus, the largest group the college has enrolled in its three years working with TFA.
Teach For America is a national organization that places committed teachers in urban and rural public schools to help minimize the nationwide achievement gap. Following a rigorous application and interview process, those accepted into TFA are given the unique opportunity to start teaching while attending classes at a university to earn their teaching degree.
For the past two years, the College of Education has worked with TFA to prepare corps members in math, science, English, social studies, early childhood education and special education. This year, the college will be training its largest number of TFA members thus far, including more than 90 early childhood education majors. In addition, the college has added TFA-specific cohorts in math and science to accommodate the increasing number of members who want to teach those high-need subjects.
"In the past, we haven't had enough TFA students enrolled in math and science to create their own cohorts, so they were integrated in with our regular teacher prep students," said Joyce Many, associate dean for academic programs. "But this year, we have more than 20 students in these subjects, which is a really exciting development for us."
Georgia State is close to home for Emma Thomas, a Henry County, Ga., native who has tailored her TFA degree program to fit her academic interests: language arts and history.
"I heard great things about GSU and the College of Education and I feel lucky to have the opportunity to obtain my master's degree here while having this incredible impact on children," she said. "Many of my friends are either trying to find a job or looking into master's programs, and I get to do a combination of both."