Skip to main content

UW-Madison repeats as a major contributor to Teach For America

July 15, 2010 By Susannah Brooks

Year after year, the University of Wisconsin–Madison has produced top numbers of Peace Corps members, working to extend understanding around the world. But recent graduates also continue to make a measurable impact on educational equity here in the United States.

For the second year in a row, UW–Madison has produced the fifth highest number of Teach For America corps members among large universities. This fall, 56 recent graduates will begin two years of service in underserved schools across the United States.

“Teach For America is a great example of the excitement students have for serving others and becoming extraordinary citizens and community members,” says Aaron Brower, vice provost for teaching and learning at UW–Madison. “At such a critical time for our educational system, UW–Madison has shown its commitment by once again ranking among the top five producers.”

For more about the rankings, visit

Teach For America, founded in 1990, aims to provide a critical source of well trained teachers who are helping break the cycle of educational inequity. In nearly 40 regions across the country, both urban and rural, studies have shown that teachers from the program have a greater impact on student achievement than other new teachers, and in some cases even more than experienced and certified teachers in the same schools. The program recruits from all academic majors and backgrounds, looking for students who demonstrate outstanding achievement, perseverance and leadership.

Because of a record number of applicants this year — nearly 46,000 — members of the teacher corps beginning this fall went through a more rigorous selection process than usual, with a 12 percent acceptance rate. Among the 4,500 incoming corps members, the average GPA was 3.6; 89 percent have significant leadership experience.

Two-thirds of the more than 20,000 Teach For America alumni across the country are working full-time in education. More than 450 Teach For America alumni serve as school principals or superintendents; more than 500 work in government or policy, and 30 serve in elected office.