New Teaching Opportunity Program Provides Free Graduate Tuition And Job to Prospective Math and Science Teachers

February 18, 1999 | The University

A full tuition scholarship for a master’s degree in education and a guaranteed full-time teaching position in the New York City public schools is being offered by The City University of New York in a unique collaboration with the New York City Board of Education, as part of a new Teaching Opportunity Program (TOP).

Outstanding college seniors and recent graduates who have a bachelor’s degree in mathematics or science and have a strong academic record are being recruited for the program which is focusing on current and future areas of teacher shortage. TOP Scholars must commit to teaching in New York City’s public schools for two years following completion of their master’s degree.

“We are seeking to develop a cadre of talented leaders committed to improving the quality of science and mathematics education provided in New York City’s public schools. We are looking for students who have demonstrated high achievement in their academic endeavors and who possess the character and motivation necessary to be a successful teacher,” said CUNY Interim Chancellor Christoph M. Kimmich.

The New York City Board of Education has made a commitment to hire TOP Scholars as teachers, and to ensure that these teachers are placed in supportive school sites. Over 30,000 new teachers will be needed during the next five years as the number of teachers eligible to retire increases.

The Teaching Opportunity Program was established to attract the most talented students into the teaching profession and to prepare them to improve student learning in classrooms across New York City.

Students who are chosen as TOP Scholars will participate in an intense summer preparation program with a faculty of experienced New York City educators. In the charter year, summer programs will be offered, each connected with a New York Cityschool district and with Brooklyn College, Hunter College or Lehman College. Each participant will receive a $2500 stipend.

TOP Scholars will also teach in a summer school program in collaboration with the school districts. The Board of Education will provide new teacher orientation and, during the academic year, the schools will continue to support their TOP Scholars through a mentoring program by an experienced teacher at the school.

TOP Scholars will receive a full tuition waiver from the University for all graduate study required for the master’s degree that leads to permanent certification in a targeted teacher shortage area. Participating colleges include Brooklyn, City, Hunter, Lehman, Queens and the College of Staten Island. For the first year, the program will focus on mathematics and science, including biology, chemistry, earth science or geology, or physics.

The students will also be informed about all requirements for state certification and will be helped to prepare for the New York State Teacher Certification Examination.

The Teaching Opportunity Program is funded through the support of The Greenwall Foundation, The Jewish Foundation for the Education of Women, J.P.Morgan Incorporated, and The New York Community Trust.

For more information and an application, those interested may call (212) 794-5444 or 5446. Evaluation of applications for the Program will begin on March 1.