TEACHER OPPORTUNITY CORPS
The purpose of the Teacher Opportunity Corps program is to enhance the preparation of prospective teachers in addressing the learning needs of students at risk of truancy, academic failure or dropping out of school.
This is a VALUE-ADDED experience…
Who can join?
Any candidate majoring in education (at any level) who is interested in working with at-risk youth and/or in high need school districts can join the Teacher Opportunity Corps (TOC). Membership continues until the candidate graduates.
What does TOC have to offer?
The Teacher Opportunity Corps has funding to support professional development workshops held on campus that address areas typically not discussed in certification programs. We pay for the guest speakers and workshop participation and provide certificates for participants.
The Teacher Opportunity Corps also provides unique field experience opportunities that allow candidates to learn more about individual children in high need districts. One of our most popular offering is the Lunch Buddy Program at Dunkirk School #5. In this mentorship program, candidates have lunch with an elementary school student on a weekly basis (you pick the day). These children have been selected by the school social worker as children who need additional support/attention for various reasons (parents who are incarcerated, parents who are deceased, victims of child abuse, victims of neglect, newly arrived in this country and ELL, etc.).
Additionally, there is a course (EDU 380: Teaching At-Risk Youth) offered each semester that allows TOC members to earn credit for participation in the Teacher Opportunity Corps workshops and field experiences AND to provide documented evidence of this participation on University transcripts.
Tell me more about these workshops!
Workshops have been traditionally held on Wednesday evenings between 4:00 and 6:00. Our previous guest speakers have included: School Social Workers, English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers, Literacy Intervention Specialists, School Nurses, Special Education Teachers, Teachers of the Autistic, Speech Pathologists, and Building Administrators.
Teacher Opportunity Corp members also have the opportunity to complete the nationally-recognized workshops on Ruby Payne’s Framework for Understanding Poverty presented by a nationally certified trainer AND free of charge.