Rhode Island College and Teach For America launch teacher certification partnership 

Rhode Island College’s Feinstein School of Education and Human Development and Teach For America announced today that they are launching a teacher certification program in elementary education for Teach For America’s Rhode Island teachers, also known as corps members. The one-year program will combine coursework at Rhode Island College with ongoing professional development and instructional coaching from Teach For America staff members.

Participants will teach full-time in public schools serving low-income communities while they complete the program, and will have the option to continue their studies for an additional year to earn a master’s degree in education. Ten Teach For America corps members are expected to matriculate to the program this fall.

Sasha Sidorkin

Heather Tow-Yick
Teach For America recruits, trains, and supports top recent college graduates and professionals who commit to teach for two years in underserved public schools and become lifelong leaders in the movement for educational equity.

This year, 50 corps members will be teaching in Rhode Island public schools, reaching close to 4,000 students. They are among more than 10,000 Teach For America corps members who will be teaching nationwide, the largest corps in the organization’s 22-year history.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Rhode Island College to provide corps members teaching at the elementary level the opportunity to earn their certification at one of our state’s leading trainers of new teachers,” said Heather Tow-Yick, executive director of Teach For America in Rhode Island. “I’m so glad to see this collaboration, sparked by RIC President Carriuolo, come to fruition.”

“Helping new elementary teachers to grow and mature is an exciting new venture, consistent with our mission,” said Sasha Sidorkin, dean of the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development at RIC. “As we continue to revitalize our many existing programs, the partnership with Teach For America is helping us to learn more about non-traditional ways of preparing excellent teachers.

"The two organizations’ expertise and philosophies will complement and enrich each other for the benefit of the state’s most vulnerable children. I want to thank faculty members Rainy Cotti, Corinne McKamey, Jen Duerr, Ying Hui-Michael and Pat Cordeiro, along with Teach For America’s Kiel McQueen, all of whom contributed to the program’s development.”