Corporate Social Responsibility

CSR Partner: Teach For America

Creating educational equality one classroom at a time

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Children growing up in poverty often lack access to the quality education necessary to realize their potential. Only half of them will graduate from high school and only 8 percent will graduate college by age 24. Teach For America recruits high-achieving recent college graduates to ensure that children in underserved schools have the opportunity for academic achievement and lifelong success.

Who: A diverse corps of teachers in underserved schools

Teach For America’s corps members represent a diverse group of talented young professionals who possess the leadership skills needed to reduce educational inequality. After their two-year teaching commitment, many alumni  continue to address educational inequality as school leaders, elected officials, policy advisors, and social entrepreneurs, as well as leaders in business, nonprofit, government, medicine, and law.

  • 10,000 corps members in 46 regions taught more than 750,000 students in 2012-13.
  • 400 college campuses receive visits from Teach For America recruiters looking for the best candidates.
  • Corps members receive pre-service training to prepare them for full-time teaching.
  • 63% of TFA alumni go on to full time careers in education or advocacy for education.

How: An updated network increases capacity and each

Teach For America’s outdated, disconnected infrastructure hampered recruiting and training efforts between regional offices, remote recruiters, and teachers. Cisco donated networking infrastructure and videoconferencing solutions to connect offices, reduce costs, and more efficiently recruit, train, and place more corps members.

  • 200% increase in corps members from 4,000 to 12,000 from 2008 to 2013.
  • $896,000 estimated annual savings in reduced travel costs through use of technology.
  • Staff, corps members, and alumni have access to files and each other from anywhere using Cisco WebEx and online resources.
  • Cisco TelePresence technology enables face-to-face training, planning, and meeting without travel time or expense.
  • 1100 donated Flip cameras give teachers a tool to record, share, and improve their teaching practices.

Impact Multiplied

Cisco donations and expertise have helped Teach For America increase its capacity to provide more services to more children in the U.S.

  • Teach For America has increased its corps members’ measurable impact on student achievement year over year, based on internal measures of mastery, and by the development of a “Teaching as Leadership” framework.
  • Studies in three states—Louisiana, North Carolina, and Tennessee—suggest that Teach For America corps members have a greater impact on student achievement than new teachers from more traditional certification programs.
  • More than 3200 corps members specialized in science, technology, engineering, and math subjects as part of the Cisco-supported STEM Initiative.
  • 43,000 teachers have reached an estimated 5 million students worldwide through Teach for All, a global network of social enterprises with a global telecommunications platform based on a Cisco product grant.
Robust Networks Help Teachers Transform Education Program Video >