U finalizes Teach for America partnership

by Roy Aker

The University of Minnesota announced Wednesday it will partner with Teach for America to create an alternative teacher training program beginning this summer.

The decision comes after months of negotiations between TFA and the University, which were met with criticism from graduate students in the College of Education and Human Development and members of Education Minnesota — the state’s largest educators union.

In the partnership, a minimum of 40 TFA corps members will participate in an eight-week training program through the University, according to a news release.

The University is currently developing the program, which will be sent to the Minnesota Board of Teaching for approval.

In addition to developing the program with TFA, the University will also decide admissions criteria.

CEHD Dean Jean Quam said in the release that the program will be the state’s first alternative teaching training program.

Under the agreement, TFA corps members’ completion of the new program will result in recommendation for licensure and University credit — which can be applied toward a master of education degree at the University. 

Previously, members would participate in TFA’s national five-week training program.

TFA was cut $1.5 million in state funding during the 2013 legislative session, and TFA executive director Crystal Brakke previously told the Minnesota Daily that TFA teachers are in high demand.

-Check this page for updates and pick up Thursday’s Minnesota Daily for student reaction and more details on the partnership.