At a time when education and homeland security are such important domestic priorities, the innovative program Troops-to-Teachers (TTT)meets two important needs. Reflecting the focus of the nation and No Child Left Behind (NCLB) on the need for qualified teachers, TTT helps relieve shortages, especially in math, science, special education and other high-needs subject areas. But it also assists military personnel in making successful transitions to second careers in teaching and preserves the talent and potential of our armed services that might otherwise be lost to retirement.
Established in 1994, the program provides participants with stipends up to $5,000 to help pay teacher certification costs in return for an agreement to teach for three years in a school located in a high-need district. Individuals on active duty may register for the program at any time, but they will not be eligible to apply for funding until one year prior to retirement.
Military personnel interested in elementary or secondary teaching positions must have a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college and those interested in teaching vocational subjects are required to have the equivalent of one year of college and six years of related experience. TTT provides participants with a mentor connection, a network of TTT participants currently working as teachers, an employment search and counseling, referral, and placement assistance through state placement assistance offices.
Since 1994, more than 4,000 TTT participants have been hired in our public schools, where they have a high retention rate and, for the most part, have been highly successful teachers. They have increased the number of male and minority teachers of math, science, and special education. Participants also report high levels of satisfaction with nearly all aspects of teaching, including a 95 percent satisfaction in their relationships with students.
More information on Troops-To-Teachers is available at: http://www.proudtoserveagain.com.