CPS Taking Student Applications For Program That Aims to Increase Educator Diversity

(WTTW News)(WTTW News)

Seniors in Chicago’s public high schools who are interested in a teaching career can begin applying to a prep program aimed at boosting the number of CPS grads working as educators within the district.

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CPS on Tuesday announced it is now accepting applications for its Teach Chicago Tomorrow program, a district initiative offering post-graduate learning opportunities to help ​​boost diversity among district teachers.

“Diversity is one of CPS’ greatest strengths and we value our diverse workforce, especially when it comes to who is standing before our students in the classroom,” CPS CEO Pedro Martinez said in a statement. “It’s vital that children can see themselves in those leading their classrooms, schools and our District and we continue to keep diversity, equity and inclusion in mind as we recruit and retain our team members.”

Teach Chicago Tomorrow is a partnership between CPS, the City Colleges of Chicago and Illinois State University that offers two pathway programs for aspiring CPS teachers.

In one track, scholars first work to earn an associate degree at a city college, followed by a bachelor’s degree through Illinois State University. After a year-long student teaching experience within CPS schools and earning their Illinois teaching license, these students will be given priority placement for jobs inside CPS schools.

Through the second track, students complete their associate degree at City Colleges of Chicago through either part-time or full-time classes, then transfer to Illinois State or any other four-year institution to complete their education degree program.

“I’ve always known that I wanted to work with children, I just didn’t know in what way,” said Angela Leon, a CPS graduate and Teach Chicago Tomorrow scholar, in a statement. “I’m connected to peers who have the same dreams as me, and the scholarship was better than any other university offered me.”

The district initially launched the program in 2020 with a goal of tripling the number of CPS grads hired as district teachers each year up to 500. In doing so, CPS has sought to have its teacher workforce more accurately represent its student population.

According to CPS, about 50% of Chicago teachers are white, but more than 80% of students are Black or Hispanic.

Students applying for Teach Chicago Tomorrow this year must be a 2021 or 2022 graduate with at least a 2.5 GPA and minimum scores of 21 on the ACT or of 540 in English and 530 in math on the SAT.

Early decision applications are due Friday, while the final application deadline is April 15. Students interested in applying may do so here.

Contact Matt Masterson: @ByMattMasterson[email protected] | (773) 509-5431

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