Monday, February 07, 2011

A Catholic "Teach for America."

Today's edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer has a very fine story highlighting the work of the Alliance for Catholic Education at Saint Joseph's University, a program that allows recent college graduates to work full-time as teachers in inner-city Catholic schools in Philadelphia while earning master's degrees in education at SJU. Inspired by a similar program at the University of Notre Dame, ACESJU is currently in its first year of operation. Here's more on the program, courtesy of Inquirer reporter Martha Woodall:
When Desmond Shannon was a student at the Gesu School in North Philadelphia, he thought students at that private Catholic elementary school had more homework than their teachers.

Thanks to a new, local program that trains young college graduates to teach at inner-city Catholic schools, Shannon, 22, now knows better.

"I see the other side," said Shannon, who teaches 25 sixth graders at St. Rose of Lima Catholic elementary school in West Philadelphia and spends evenings grading their assignments and writing lesson plans. "Teachers have more homework than students."

After majoring in actuarial science at St. Joseph's University, Shannon expected to be crunching numbers for an insurance company. Instead, he joined 14 other 2010 college grads who signed up to teach at nine Catholic schools in Philadelphia through the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) at St. Joseph's.

St. Joseph's launched its version of the University of Notre Dame's successful ACE program in the summer with nearly $1 million in contributions from foundations and donors and support from the University of Pennsylvania.

Notre Dame's program, which was created in 1993-94, aims to provide a cadre of dedicated and academically accomplished young educators for Catholic schools just as Teach for America (TFA) trains teachers for public schools nationwide.

As is the case with Teach for America, ACE recruits high-achieving grads who did not major in education, trains them in summer, provides professional support, and sends them to graduate school so they have master's degrees in education at the end of their two years.
To read the rest of the Inquirer article, click here. To learn more about ACESJU - including how you can get involved - please be sure to visit the ACESJU website. AMDG.


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