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ASU earns No. 2 ranking for Teach for America recruitment

Portrait of ASU student and Teach for America corps member Corbin Kohtz.

Teach for America corps member Corbin Kohtz. Photo courtesy Corbin Kohtz

November 21, 2022

For the past seven years, Arizona State University has been a top producer of Teach for America corps members — a trend that continues in 2022 with ASU coming in at No. 2 in the country among large schools.

“Teach For America identifies student leaders who deeply understand the value of educational equity,” said Krishnaa Pradhan, a recruiter for Teach for America and an ASU alum. “ASU stands out in making a college education accessible to students with diverse backgrounds, and many Sun Devils reflect the identities of our corps members and students.”

Teach for America (TFA) is a nonprofit organization that recruits top recent college graduates to teach in low-income communities throughout the United States. TFA corps members spend two years in the classroom supporting the educational and personal development of underserved students.

ASU’s No. 2 ranking reflects a total of 36 Sun Devils participating in the 2022 corps, which comprises a group of 1,600 total educators from 1,300 colleges and universities, and represents the most diverse corps in its history: 58% of incoming corps members identify as people of color; 65% come from low-income backgrounds; and one in three are the first in their family to graduate college.

The selection process for Teach for America is rigorous. Along with demonstrating a high academic standard, corps members must participate in interviews, teach a sample lesson and prepare a proposal for a case study on racial disparities.

With educational access a key part of ASU and TFA’s respective missions, Pradhan says Sun Devils are well positioned to have an impact in the program.

“Sun Devils demonstrate strong leadership in Teach for America’s application process, during their two years in the classroom as a corps member and as alumni in crucial industries. We are proud to have ASU represented as the second-highest contributing school for TFA for the first time in history,” she said.

One of this year’s new corps members is Corbin Kohtz, who is from Phoenix and will serve with TFA in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Kohtz will graduate from ASU in spring 2023 with degrees in communication and political science and a minor in English literature from Barrett, the Honors College and The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

There were a number of factors that inspired Kohtz to pursue serving with Teach for America, including his experience as a student worker at ASU and the topics he researched for his degrees.

“While working in career and professional development services, I met Veronica Aguilar, currently working at TFA, and Julia Tebben, who were both connected to TFA and introduced me to the program,” Kohtz said. “During my junior year, I started investing time into research in rhetorical studies and decided I wanted to direct my research towards education at large, but I wanted exposure in a classroom.”

Kohtz said that working with Teach for America in a Title I school will provide ample opportunity to experience the education industry before he pursues further opportunities in research and education.

The application deadline for Teach for America is Feb. 10, 2023. Learn more about the program here.

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