Arizona State University is once again among the top five colleges and universities to contribute the greatest number of graduates to Teach for America, a corps of recent college graduates who commit to teach in low-income schools for at least two years.
Ranked fourth this year, ASU sent 41 Sun Devils to the 2016 teaching corps and is among the largest colleges and universities with more than 10,000 undergraduate students, including University of Texas at Austin, University of California-Los Angeles and University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, to contribute to Teach For America (TFA) corps members.
Veronica Aguilar, TFA recruitment director at ASU, said the team's mission is to recruit the most talented Sun Devils who show leadership, service and dedication to educational inequality.
"Every year, Teach For America announces the top colleges who are producing the most corps members. In 2015, we were able to jump from number 11 to number four for number of corps members from ASU," Aguilar said. "We are proud to be in the top five again, as number four for 2016."
This year, ASU is receiving additional support from TFA; it is dedicating the largest recruitment team in the United States to recruitment efforts at the university. TFA staffs the group of recruiters dedicated to ASU, including a recruitment director and seven campus campaign coordinators. These recruiters work to spread awareness of the program and mentor those entering the TFA interview process.
"We have seen rankings increase, and TFA believes that ASU has the drive and capacity to continue to grow exponentially,” said Cindy Parnell, executive director of Career and Professional Development Services at ASU. "Through our partnership, we are able to connect TFA with a large, diverse and academically prepared student population who are passionate advocates for education equality.
"Additionally, TFA is excited about the unique service-minded students that are the fabric of ASU. TFA sees great success with ASU students and realizes the ideals that we hold dear as an institution are the same ideals that Sun Devils bring to the TFA classroom — leadership, innovation, service, access, social embeddedness.”
The recruiters, who are current ASU students interning for TFA, work to educate students about the organization to bridge the gap of educational inequality in America, Parnell said.
For more information about Teach For America, visit https://eoss.asu.edu/tfa.
Top photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now