WilmU’s College of Education works in partnership with the Teach for America organization, and is preparing for its fifth year or fifth cohort in providing teachers programming advice and field supervision.
The Teach for America organization works to ensure that low-income children have equal opportunities for quality education. It does that by recruiting the nation’s brightest teachers who honor its mission and commit to teaching for a minimum of two years in low-income communities.
“Wilmington University became our first higher education partner in Delaware in 2009,” says Laurisa Schutt, executive director of Teach for America Delaware. “We work in close collaboration to develop the pathways required for our alternative route corps members to become certified to teach in Delaware.”
In the 2013-14 school year, 1,000 of its members will reach more than 750,000 students nationwide. There are approximately 130,000 children in Delaware, where WilmU hosts its Teach for America program. Statistically, just one in 10 of those children will graduate from college.
Leaders at WilmU’s College of Education hope to change that statistic in a variety of ways, but also via its partnership with Teach for America. “In the first four years of our program,” says Al Di Emedio, director of teacher preparation at WilmU, “we’ve accommodated approximately 100 students from all over the United States.”
While the university does not choose the participants, it is assigned a cohort. The cohorts first attend a summer institute at a Teach for America facility in Philadelphia, and then finish their coursework at WilmU, including their practicum clinical courses. Di Emedio validates the work, ensuring that students have met all program requirements for their various education majors. Approximately 40 percent of all Delaware educators completed degrees from WilmU, and the percentage of school administrators who did so is higher. WU