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Northwestern ranked high in Teach for America program

University tied for eighth among medium-sized schools for entering 2016 corps

  • ‘Each year we see Northwestern students excel in the classroom’
  • Only 14 percent of applicants nationally were accepted into the TFA program
  • Social justice aspect of program is a big draw for Northwestern graduates 
  • Northwestern graduates tend to perform well in TFA year after year

EVANSTON - Continuing an annual trend, Northwestern University again placed near the top of rankings of mid-sized universities whose students made the cut in the highly competitive Teach For America (TFA) program.

Northwestern was ranked eighth among medium-sized schools for entering 2016 teachers in the two-year program dedicated to bringing quality education to underserved communities.  

Fifteen students from Northwestern were chosen from a pool of 60 applicants at the University. Only 14 percent of applicants nationally were accepted into the TFA program.

The new Northwestern cohort will teach in low-income urban and rural public schools around the country -- from Appalachia to the Bay Area and Milwaukee to Jacksonville.

TFA teachers commit themselves to two years of teaching as a way to tackle the social injustice of unequal education based on race, geography and socioeconomic status.

That aspect of the program is a big draw for Northwestern graduates who tend to perform well in TFA year after year, said TFA Recruitment Manager Isabelle Shanafelt.  

“In my many conversations with Northwestern students, it’s clear they are so driven by service and by social justice,” she said. “Each year we see Northwestern students excel in the classroom.”  

TFA looks for people across the country who exhibit a variety of aspects of leadership.  

“Students from Northwestern tend to be the type of leaders our students deserve,” Shanafelt said. “They’re so uniquely talented and committed to service, and that really stands out.”

TFA participants undergo rigorous training so they can have an immediate positive affect on students. The new teachers spend five weeks in an intensive summer training institute, learn more in regional trainings and complete 45 to 50 hours of independent training.

The 15 TFA members from Northwestern, many with no prior teaching experience, have scattered around the country to manage their own classrooms. In two years, they’ll join a group of more than 50,000 active and former TFA participants.

“I’m excited by the 15 corps members from Northwestern this year,” Shanafelt said, and we look forward to working with Northwestern students on campus this year.”

Below is a list of the recent Northwestern graduates and their TFA locations.

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Jane Abramovich, Massachusetts

Sarah Bruhl, Connecticut

Ashlyn Brulato, Bay Area, California

Shivani Chanillo, Baltimore

Daniel Clausner, Appalachia

Matthew Connor, Greater New Orleans

Qunsia Daniel, Jacksonville, Florida

Elena Dennis, Milwaukee

Sarah Ehlen, Twin Cities, Minnesota

Yesenia Juarez, Chicago

Annie Livingston, Washington, D.C. region

Dara McGreal, Baltimore

Michelle Ramos, Chicago

Shaina Wagner, Bay Area, California

Emmalee Windle, Memphis

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