PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] —Teach For America and Brown University announced today that they have formed a graduate school partnership in urban education policy. Teach For America teachers in Rhode Island who are accepted to Brown’s Master of Urban Education Policy (UEP) program will be able to enroll in the program part-time and earn their degree while teaching full-time in Rhode Island’s highest-need public schools. Seven teachers, also known as corps members, will matriculate to the program this summer.
Brown’s education department offers a twelve-month, master's-level program leading to an Master of Arts in Urban Education Policy. The UEP program, which previously was only offered full-time, is dedicated to the study of policy analysis, planning, and development in urban public education. The tightly focused academic curriculum, integrated with a nine-month internship, is designed to impart a set of core skills and competencies that are necessary for successful careers in urban education policy. The UEP program also provides a solid foundation for those anticipating advanced study in areas related to urban education policy. At least one Teach For America corps member accepted to the UEP program will serve as a UEP Urban Education Fellow, committing to serve in Rhode Island’s urban public schools for at least three years in exchange for loan forgiveness from the University. This year, two Teach For America corps members have been selected as Urban Education Fellows.
Teach For America recruits, trains, and supports top recent college graduates and professionals who commit to teach for two years in underserved public schools and become lifelong leaders in the movement for educational equity. This year, 30 corps members are teaching in Rhode Island traditional and charter public schools, reaching approximately 2,200 students. They are among more than 8,200 Teach For America corps members teaching nationwide, the largest corps in the organization’s 20-year history.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Brown University to provide corps members with this opportunity to better fulfill their commitment to become lifelong leaders in the movement for educational excellence and equity,” said Heather Tow-Yick, executive director of Teach For America in Rhode Island. “Brown’s UEP program, over two years while teachers are teaching full time, will offer a great learning opportunity to understand how policy impacts the classroom.”
The seven corps members accepted to the UEP program this year are:
- Sara Bobak, middle school special education teacher at Bridgham Middle School
- Kate Bubrick, sixth grade math teacher at Gilbert Stuart Middle School
- Danielle DeSantis, secondary English as a second language teacher at Alvarez High School
- Brian Gould, secondary special education teacher at Central High School
- Drew Milligan, secondary science and special education teacher at Providence Academy of International Studies
- Carina Sitkus, secondary science and special education teacher at Alvarez High School
- Meghan Wieckowski, first grade teacher at Blackstone Valley Prep
“In the organization’s first year in the state, Teach For America corps members have become important partners in Rhode Island’s efforts to provide all students with an excellent education,” said Kenneth Wong, director of the Urban Education Policy Program at Brown. “We look forward to developing the leadership capacity of these committed educators.”
“I’m excited for the opportunity to continue working in Providence classrooms while furthering my education in the field of urban education policy,” said Rhode Island corps member Brian Gould. “With first-hand experience as an instructional leader in an urban school setting and the skill set gained from Brown’s UEP program, I hope to effect greater change to raise student achievement in Rhode Island.”
A growing body of rigorous research demonstrates the effectiveness of Teach For America teachers. In 2009 and 2010, three states—Louisiana, North Carolina, and Tennessee—studied the effectiveness of teachers from different teacher-preparation programs, and each of the three concluded that Teach For America corps members have a greater impact on student achievement than other new teachers. Teach For America’s network includes more than 20,000 alumni across the country who are working from within education and every other professional sector to create the fundamental conditions necessary to close the achievement gap. Nationally, more than 13,000 alumni work full-time in education, including more than 550 serving as principals and school leaders, at the forefront of the movement for educational equity.
Brown and Teach For America also have graduate school partnerships in Mathematics, Education, and Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage that offer corps members and alumni two-year deferrals, waived admissions fees, and tuition scholarships.
About Teach For America
Teach For America is the national corps of outstanding recent college graduates who commit to teach for two years in urban and rural public schools and become lifelong leaders in expanding educational opportunity. This year, more than 8,200 corps members are teaching in 39 regions across the country, while more than 20,000 Teach For America alumni continue working from inside and outside the field of education for the fundamental changes necessary to ensure educational excellence and equity. For more information, visit www.teachforamerica.org.
About Brown University
Founded in 1764, Brown University is the nation’s seventh-oldest institution of higher education and a member of the Ivy League. Globally acclaimed for its culture of independent thinking and academic excellence, Brown provides close mentoring of students and the vibrant engagement of a research-intensive university. Brown offers nearly 100 programs of study to its approximately 8,300 undergraduate, graduate, and medical students and employs nearly 700 full time faculty members. For more information, visit www.brown.edu.