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.

  • 8800 corps members in 52 regions teaching 520,000 students in 2015-16.
  • Corps members receive pre-service training to prepare them for full-time teaching.
  • 65% of TFA alumni work full time in the field of 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Teach For America’s outdated, disconnected infrastructure hampered recruiting and training efforts between regional offices, remote recruiters, and teachers.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.

  • 100%+ increase in corps members from 4,000 in 2008 to 8800 in 2015.
  • $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.

  • 10 million students reached since 1990.
  • 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 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.
  • 95% of principals who employed Teach For America teachers in a 2012-13 independent survey reported that corps members made a positive difference in their schools
  • 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.

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