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Teach for America Summer Institute at LMU Prepares Future Teachers

TFAAlthough many of the students at Loyola Marymount University are gone for the summer break, the campus is alive with the more than 388 participants in the LMU/Teach for America Partnership Program. 

The six-week program, which runs June 17 through the last week of July, provides graduate support and training for TFA teachers.

“Participants in the LMU/TFA partnership program come out mastering skills in how to teach rather than just being able to perform well on tests,” said Katharine Berlin, associate director of the LMU/TFA Partnership Program. “They understand the theories and research that they’re taught and the impact they will have on the students they teach.”

Teach for America seeks to close the educational gap through a national teacher corps of recent college graduates who commit to teaching in under-resourced schools. During the summer program, participants take several training courses, attend weekend workshops and teach part-time under the guidance of a faculty advisor. The faculty advisor provides one-on-one feedback and monitors the participant’s progress.

“The program offers hands-on experience in the classroom,” said Doris Madrigal, associate director of the LMU/TFA Partnership Program. “TFA students receive a realistic view of the population and content area they will be teaching and continuous one-on-one supervision.”

In the fall, the participants will teach full-time while studying for a teaching credential and, in some cases, a master’s degree in education from LMU.  In the past four years, about 80 percent of the participants surveyed continue to teach at their school even after their two-year commitment has completed.  

“Our participants are dedicated to their students and want to continue to make an impact,” Berlin said. “They know they’re helping to make change happen even if it’s on a small scale.”

LMU’s School of Education agreed to the partnership in 2000 and has grown to become the exclusive university partner for Teach for America in California, serving Los Angeles, Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area. The partnership has ranked among the top Teach for America partnerships nationwide in corps member satisfaction, according to national surveys.

For more information about the LMU/TFA Partnership Program, click here.