Our corps members currently teach in nine school districts throughout the state, including the Black Belt region, Birmingham, Huntsville, and Montgomery. These rural and urban regions are diverse in many regards and many were critical to the success of the Civil Rights movement where the effects of which still linger. On average, more than 91% of students in our partner school districts are considered low income, and 88% of the student populations are African American.
For our corps members, living in Alabama means following in the footsteps of the activists who came before them and taking part in fighting for equity and civil rights for all people today. Living in Alabama also means being part of a close-knit community; Southern hospitality is a way of life in our state—neighbors and parents may offer to cook you a delicious dinner or show you around the town. Affordable housing offers corps members the opportunity to live in the same communities as their students and build relationships with families and other community partners, growing and expanding their network of people they are going to be working with, side by side.
While about one third of our corps members live in rural areas, we also have many current corps members and alumni living and working in cities such as Birmingham, Huntsville, and Montgomery. After a long week in the classroom, corps members can head north to Huntsville and visit NASA’s Space and Rocket Center or south for a relaxing weekend on the Gulf Coast, hang out in Birmingham and peruse Pepper Place Farmers Market, hike at one of Alabama’s many state parks, or head to Tuscaloosa or Auburn and catch an SEC football game. Teach For America – Alabama truly offers the best of all worlds: small town intimacy with easy access to a big city and the great outdoors.
TFA FUELS A PIPELINE OF LEADERSHIP IN ALABAMA
We identify and cultivate high-potential teachers from Alabama and around the country for local educational leadership positions in school districts and non-profit organizations beyond their two-year commitment. For example, k12 Lean Labs, founded in 2014 by Mickey Millsap (Alabama Corps ‘11), is a Birmingham based K-12 education incubator focused on identifying, prototyping, and launching innovative technologies, programs, and solutions that positively impact Alabama students. The Birmingham Education Foundation (Ed), led by numerous TFA alumni including J.W. Carpenter (Mississippi Delta Corps ’01), Marshall Pollard (D.C. Corps ’11), and Andrew Mitchell (Alabama Corps ’11), is dedicated to increasing the number of students in the Birmingham City Schools that are on the path to college, career, and life readiness, believing that this is only possible by cultivating a diverse network of people who demand excellence for our students and inspire others to do the same. Further, Teach For America - Alabama Regional Board Member Thomas Rains (Mississippi Delta Corps ’05) leads the policy work at A+ Education Partnership, which works to ensure “Every Alabama Graduate is Ready for College and a Career.”
HIGHER ACADEMICS SUMMER SCHOOL
This four-week advanced summer program for students from eight counties in the Black Belt was founded by and continues to be led by Teach For America teachers. Each summer, 15 students attend this rigorous program that exposes students to various opportunities both in and out of the classroom. Last summer, students grew an average of three points on the ACT in just four weeks.
CAP & GOWN PROJECT
This program was founded in 2014 by Teach For America teachers in Huntsville who wanted to expose their students to colleges around the country, and around the world. This year, over 130 students have visited more than five colleges, and a group of 10 students toured London and Paris during spring break.
Woodlawn is a neighborhood in east Birmingham, where our corps members teach and live. The neighborhood is home to many community organizations working together to improve education for students and quality of life for all citizens, including urban food projects, music and art programs, and locally-owned businesses. Corps members who serve in this area partner with Woodlawn Foundation Community Partners allowing them to purposefully engage with their school and the community at large. The neighborhood is also a short distance from many coffee shops, Pepper Place Farmer’s Market, local parks, and the downtown area.
Subjects And Grade Levels
- Business Education
- Middle School Science
- Middle School Social Studies
- Middle School Math
- Middle School English
- High School Science
- High School Social Studies
- High School Math
- High School English
- Special Education
Ongoing Certification Costs
Costs can range depending on whether teachers want to pursue a post-baccalaureate alternative teaching certification (lower end of cost spectrum) or a Master’s Degree.
Up front Testing Costs
Costs range depending on which certification degree is taken
Up Front Certification Costs
Costs depend on which certification path a teacher chooses and the university partner. Some schools may require only the application fee, and some may require a percentage of their first semester’s tuition up front.