The ProgramThe Elliot and Roslyn Jaffe Peace Corps Fellows Program is an alternative teacher certification program that recruits Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs). Upon completion of a summer intensive training, Fellows teach full-time in salaried positions with the NYC Department of Education while pursuing a Masters degree in teaching. Fellows make a minimum three-year commitment to teaching and all related Masters degree coursework must be completed within this time, although the majority of our Fellows tends to graduate within two years. As an AmeriCorps Professional Corps and Fellows/USA flagship program, we provide AmeriCorps tuition awards and partial scholarships to select trainees. Since 1985 the program has recruited and trained more than 700 public school educators, and our alumni retention rate in the public school system is among the highest found anywhere in the country.
We recruit candidates in the following teacher shortage areas:
Bilingual/Bicultural Education (Spanish/English, Grades 1-6, 6-9 extension optional)
English (Grades 7-12)
Social Studies (7-12)
Math (Grades 7-12)
Science (Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science or Physics, Grades 7-12)
Intellectual Disability/Autism (Grades 1-6)
TESOL - The Peace Corps Fellows Program does not currently offer fellowships in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). Individuals interested in this subject area should visit TR@TC for information about a newly established Teaching Residency program offering TESOL degrees and certification.
- To provide qualified, dedicated and innovative teachers of subject-shortage areas for high-poverty public schools in New York City.
- To recruit vibrant and diverse cohorts of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers with unique international education/service experience to teach NYC students.
- To support a community of reflective, RPCV urban educators who are addressing educational equity and social justice through their long-term commitments to urban schools, urban communities and urban youth.
The Peace Corps Fellows are a group of returned Peace Corps Volunteers who have made a powerful impact on public school students in New York City, mainly in Harlem, Washington Heights, and the Bronx. These dedicated individuals teach full time in high-poverty New York City schools, while working to complete all requirements for Masters degrees at Teachers College. They also complete all requirements for teaching certification in critical subject areas such as Science, Math, ESL, English, Bilingual, and Intellectual Disabilities/Autism. Currently, 40 first and second year Fellows are teaching full-time in New York City elementary, intermediate, and high schools, as well as in several alternative and specialized school settings.How committed are Peace Corps Fellows to teaching in New York City public schools?
The Peace Corps Fellows is a highly selective program composed of dedicated individuals who have demonstrated their commitment, resilience and resourcefulness through the competitive application process to become a Peace Corps Volunteer, and through their two years of Peace Corps service. As Fellows, they commit to teaching in their schools for three years, and they are strongly encouraged to stay in their schools at least two more years. The program has a 98% retention rate during the two years in which Fellows are attending graduate school.What are the benefits?
The Peace Corps Fellows Program offers Elliot and Roslyn Jaffe Scholarships ranging from $8,000 to $30,000; starting teacher's salary of approximately $48,000, depending on experience and prior academic credits (starting salary for teachers who already have a masters degree is approximately $50,728); full health coverage under Teachers' Union contract; professional teaching credential (after three years, with fulfillment of requirements); as well as loan forgiveness opportunities after teaching begins. New York State certification currently has reciprocity in 43 states.
Training and Practicum
This symposia is designed to fulfill NYSED requirements for certifying Fellows to teach in September as Transitional B Certification teachers. While many Fellows complete their coursework in two years, Fellows must complete all coursework requirements and pass all required tests within a three year time frame to meet eligibility requirements for New York State certification. The summer training period enables our Fellows to be more reflective about the work they are doing, to have more adjustment time, and to get into classrooms during the regular school year so that they can get a truer sense of effective urban teaching in high-need schools.
Teaching / Learning
2. Teachers College Mentors: Each Fellow is paired with a mentor who observes their teaching and meets with them at least ten times over the course of their first year in order to provide constructive feedback and professional support. In their second year of teaching, Fellows have at least 8 visits over the year from their mentors.
3. The Reflective Practitioner: Throughout the summer intensive training and their two to three years at Teachers College, Fellows continually reflect on their practice by creating and revising their own Teaching Philosophy Statements. Reflection occurs collectively with other Fellows during our monthly seminars, TC coursework, and collaborations with mentors, all of which helps foster critical teaching skills with strong pedagogical foundations.