APPLICANT FAQs

Learn about transitioning your STEM expertise into teaching to inspire the next generation of innovators, engineers and scientists.

Eligibility

In order to meet basic eligibility requirements to become an EnCorps Fellow, a candidate must:

•Currently live in an area we serve (California: Greater San Francisco Bay Area, Greater Los Angeles Area, San Diego; Colorado: Greater Denver Area).

•Have at least 1 or more years of work or research experience as a STEM industry professional OR possess an advanced degree in a STEM field​.

•Be fully eligible to work in the United States (US Citizen or Permanent Resident)

•Possess a baccalaureate or higher degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a GPA of 2.50 or higher (foreign degrees must be independently evaluated to determine equivalency – find out more)

•Not currently hold a teaching credential / license in a core subject in the state in which you are applying

•Complete and submit EnCorps’ online application

Yes! The EnCorps STEM Teachers Program is designed to support professionals in the math, science, engineering, and technology fields who are interested in beginning a pathway that leads to a career transition teaching in high needs schools, and who demonstrate leadership, achievement, and a commitment to urban education. Previous coursework or experience in education is not necessary.

While we recognize that teaching and tutoring experience at the K-12 or college level is valuable, EnCorps is specifically designed for STEM professionals with industry experience, who can directly answer the question of relevance for students. If your teaching experience includes research, you may be eligible.

The EnCorps STEM Teaching Fellowship is designed for professionals who are transitioning to teaching from a STEM field. Therefore, if you already possess a teaching credential or teaching license in a core subject in the state in which you are applying that is current (not expired), you are not eligible to apply for EnCorps. However, if you hold a Career and Technical Education (CTE) credential and wish to earn a teaching credential / license in a core subject or hold an out-of-state credential, you are eligible to apply.

Our nation’s high needs schools often struggle to find highly qualified science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and teachers. This is why the EnCorps’ mission is to provide high quality education to close achievement gaps for students in low income communities. If you do not have a background as a STEM professional, the EnCorps Program is not right for you. If you want to teach but do not have a STEM background, please visit our partners at TEACH Colorado or the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing for more options.

We currently serve the Greater San Francisco Bay Area, Greater Sacramento Area, Greater Los Angeles Area, San Diego, and Riverside regions in California, as well as Denver, Colorado. If you are planning to relocate to these regions and would be available for an in-person interview in the region, please apply. If you do not currently live in one of our service areas, please be in touch with us once you relocate. We can not currently respond to applications from outside our service areas.

You do not need your transcripts when you submit an application to EnCorps. You will need to know your GPA on a 4.0 scale. Transcripts (including foreign degree equivalency evaluation) can be obtained after you are selected into the EnCorps Fellowship.

Application

No. All applications must be submitted online.

The entire process should take you 15-20 minutes. You do not have to complete the application in one sitting. At the end of each page, you have the option to save your work and come back to complete it later.

An EnCorps staff member will review your application after you have submitted it. You will be informed of our decision within approximately 1 week. If you meet our eligibility criteria and appear to be a good fit for the program, we will invite you to record a short video interview. Following the video interview, the final step in our application and interview process is a final interview, which includes several components. If after your final interview, we confirm that you are a good fit for our program, we will extend an offer for you to join the program.

No. Transcripts are not necessary for completing your application. We trust you to tell us the truth about your educational and professional history. Please note, however, that official transcripts will be required when you apply to teaching credential programs.

Interviews

The EnCorps team will invite qualified candidates who seem like a good fit for the STEM Teaching Fellowship to record a video interview via an email invitation to our video interview platform. We want to learn about you and your desire to pursue teaching as your next career. We do not look for perfection, we are simply looking for your authentic response to our questions. You must use a computer with a webcam and Google Chrome browser in order to record your video. You will know the questions we are going to ask in advance and you are free to record multiple times.

More information about video interviews will be provided to qualified candidates who receive an invitation to interview.

Our final interviews enable us to get to know you better and to make a final decision on your fit for the program. Interviews generally bring together a small group of candidates and take about 2-2.5 hours. Each candidate is evaluated holistically, and successful candidates will demonstrate the potential to positively impact student learning and achievement in a high needs school during each part of the interview. You can find the competencies we are looking for throughout the process on our Eligibility Page.

More information about final interviews and how to prepare for them will be provided to qualified candidates who receive an invitation to interview.

The EnCorps STEM Teachers Program is highly selective. Our eligibility requirements are only the minimum qualifications necessary to be considered for the program and meeting them in no way guarantees acceptance. Although ensuring candidates meet our program’s eligibility requirements is an important step in our initial review of applications, our selection process is ultimately driven by our desire to identify individuals with strong track records of achievement in their previous endeavors that demonstrate a steadfast commitment towards improving the achievement of students in California’s high-needs schools. Unfortunately, due to the volume of applicants, we are not able to provide individual feedback to candidates.

Because we receive an exceptional number of applications each year, we are unable to provide personalized feedback to applicants who have not been accepted to the program. We encourage all applicants interested in education to continue to pursue teaching through other avenues. You can begin your research on other programs by visiting TEACH Colorado or the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) website.

EnCorps Program

When you join EnCorps, you are committing to beginning the pathway to a career change into STEM teaching in a low income middle or high school in the next 1-3 years.

In addition, you will commit to completing online professional development, attending Guest Teacher Training, volunteering a minimum of two hours/week for one or two semesters with an EnCorps Host Teacher, taking steps toward completing a personal development plan for earning your teaching credential/license, and attending the Fall, Spring and Summer Institutes.

Fellows will typically participate in volunteer Guest Teaching for 1-2 academic semesters, although it can be longer. Obtaining a teaching credential/license can be done simultaneous to this, or may take one additional year. If you enter EnCorps between July-December, you may teach in your own classroom by the coming fall or choose a longer pathway. If you enter EnCorps between January-May, you may teach in your own classroom within about 1-1.5 years.

To find out about the timelines and credentialing pathways, review more information here.

Yes! EnCorps Fellows maintain their connection to EnCorps and each other well into their teaching careers – we have engaged Fellows at every stage of their career transition. Of course, the nature of your interaction and support that EnCorps provides will look different for Fellows during each stage.

The EnCorps STEM Teaching Fellowship is a rigorous and supported on-ramp to a teaching career — offering the field experience, knowledge and connections to ensure our Fellows thrive in the classroom. We set you up with experiences in the classroom with a mentor teacher that allow you to absorb best teaching practices, develop student relationships, etc. We place you with partner schools for volunteer Guest Teaching and when you are ready to enter the classroom full-time, we help you make connections with principals and schools. As an EnCorps Fellow, you will join a network of like-minded professionals dedicated to closing the achievement gap and to making a difference in the lives of their students. EnCorps offers the following:

  • •Immediate field experience working with high need students as a volunteer Guest Teacher
  • •Mentorship from EnCorps staff and an experienced host teacher
  • •Exam support and credentialing/licensing guidance
  • •Robust slate of professional development
  • •Collaborative cohort of peers to share ideas, support and best practices
  • •Opportunity to work in a variety of school districts and charter networks

EnCorps provides our Fellows with support, resources and coaching, free of charge. This includes, but is not limited to: test prep materials (if needed), coaching, professional development, and support services including Summer Residential Institute, Fall and Spring Institutes and online webinars, forums, tools and resources. EnCorps also assists Fellows with finding financially feasible teacher credentialing/licensure programs, grants, scholarships, and financial aid to offset the cost of obtaining a teaching credential.

While EnCorps support services are free, Fellows are responsible for fingerprinting fees, Tuberculosis testing fee, test registration fees and fees associated with ordering transcripts. They are also responsible for all credentialing/licensure tuition, as well as all materials and textbooks required by a credentialing/licensure program. EnCorps does offer scholarships to our Fellows on an application basis to cover part of their tuition.

During Guest Teaching. Fellows are considered volunteers and are unpaid.

The EnCorps STEM Teachers Program offers many resources to our Fellows, but we do not hire, pay or financially subsidize our Fellows. EnCorps staff will assist and support Fellows in finding a paid position once they have completed their teacher credentialing/licensure coursework or are eligible for an intern/teacher of record/apprentice teacher position.

Individuals are selected to the EnCorps STEM Teaching Fellowship who are serious about beginning the pathway to a career change into STEM teaching in high needs schools in the next 1-3 years. Fellows may have an option to volunteer in a tutoring capacity in another EnCorps program and can speak with their Program Coordinator.

Yes, for portions of the EnCorps program, it is possible to work full time. EnCorps’ volunteer Guest Teaching is designed to allow STEM professionals to continue working in their industry as they gain experience teaching and we are often able to be flexible with the schedules offered to experience guest teaching in a local school site.

EnCorps holds three formal professional development events each year — Summer Residential Institute (SRI) typically in June and Fall and Spring Institutes. In addition, EnCorps offers online webinars, forums, professional learning communities, tools and resources. At Institutes, EnCorps facilitates workshops that address many topics for new teachers/transitioning professionals and returning teachers. Key topics include:

  • •Understanding how to manage a classroom
  • •Understanding the history, challenges, and current successes in urban education
  • •Planning lessons
  • •Building relationships with students
  • •Setting and achieving ambitious learning goals for students

For additional information, see What You Can Expect.

Guest Teaching

All EnCorps Fellows will engage in volunteer Guest Teaching for at least one semester of 2-5 hours per week when beginning the EnCorps program as a way to gain field experience working with students. This time period also provides Fellows with time to take any required exams.

As a volunteer Guest Teacher, Fellows are paired with a mentor teacher and spend  2-5 hours per week in that teacher’s classroom observing, working with individuals and small groups of students, and eventually teaching portions of lessons and whole lessons to the class. This structured, semester-long program provides an opportunity for Fellows to gain valuable classroom experience and to make connections with schools that may eventually be looking to hire STEM teachers.

After attending a Guest Teacher Training in either January or June, you will receive a “menu” of EnCorps school partners. These partners have been carefully vetted and have signed agreements with EnCorps. You will then have the opportunity to rank your site preferences in order and let your Program Team know any special considerations, like work schedule, geography, grade level or subject preferences. We do our very best to match you with a convenient school site; in almost all cases, Fellows’ preferences are honored.

Candidates invited to a final interview will receive a map of our Guest Teaching schools in their area. Our partners are spread geographically in the regions we serve for the convenience of our Fellows.

We have received requests to be placed in schools not on our “menu.” EnCorps is only able to place our Fellows in schools with whom we have a written agreement. If Fellows have other schools in mind, we can see about forming an agreement with those schools, but please be aware that this process can take several months.

Once you are selected to be an EnCorps Fellow, along with other expectations, you will need to:

1. Attend an EnCorps Guest Teacher Training. You will only be placed at one of our partner sites after you’ve been oriented internally. At the training, you’ll tell the Program Team which school placement sites you’re interested in.
2. Obtain a Tuberculosis test from your doctor or healthcare provider. You’ll need to do this only once; you can use it with multiple sites, including the school you get hired to teach at. The cost of a TB test is usually $30-50, although your insurance may subsidize this. You are encouraged to obtain your TB test right away upon acceptance to EnCorps.
3. Undergo  fingerprinting. Your placement site will have more specific instructions about this for you. The cost of fingerprinting varies from $20 – $90 and schools will sometimes cover this cost.

Teaching

EnCorps recommends that Fellows take time before their first teaching job to invest in their own training and preparation as much as possible. Timelines differ by cohort / application date. In the accelerated pathway, Fellows may teach within 9-19 months. In the standard pathway, Fellows may teach in about 2 years. Please review more information on our Teaching Fellowship page.

Yes, becoming a substitute teacher can be a great stepping stone for earning your teaching credential/license and getting into teaching full time. It is also a way to earn an income in the transition to teaching. Many substitute teachers are called to sub on a daily basis. Although substitute teaching is not a formal part of EnCorps’ program, we can provide some information to Fellows who are interested. Your Program contact can help get you connected to substitute teach in some of our partner schools as well.

Substitute teaching requirements vary by state:

California: To become a substitute teacher, you will need to pass the CBEST (basic skills test), undergo fingerprinting, and submit an application to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) for your 30-day substitute teaching permit. This allows you to substitute in any California public school. Once this is completed and processed, you will be able to apply to any number of districts and charter school networks. This PDF from the CTC describes the application process.

Colorado: To obtain a 3 Year Substitute Teacher Authorization, you will need to undergo fingerprinting and possess a bachelors degree or higher from an accepted, regionally accredited college or university. You will complete an online application with the Colorado Department of Education (CDE). Once this is completed and processed, you will be able to apply to any number of districts and charter school networks.

The EnCorps program is designed so that the first 1-2 semesters of being an EnCorps Fellow can be completed while still working full time in STEM industry or another role. During this time, Fellows are expected to spend 2-5 hours per week at a school site Guest Teaching. Many Fellows also pursue substitute teaching if they are not working in industry so that they may produce an income while making the transition (see above). It is also possible to earn your teaching credential on a part-time basis or online, allowing you to work during this time.

The accelerated pathway option allows EnCorps Fellows to earn their teaching credential/license as an intern teacher or teacher of record, thus taking coursework and teaching full time & earning an income and benefits in the first year. In Colorado, Fellows may also choose a non-licensed teaching pathway to teach in a charter school.

Teacher Credentialing / Licensure

Career and Technical Education (CTE) Credentials
CTE programs are shorter and less expensive than single subject programs and are typically online or evenings/weekends. They do not include student teaching or classroom-based experience and take into account your 3+ years of professional STEM experience. There are online CTE programs that start on a rolling basis year-round, so you will be able to complete a CTE credential in the fall, winter, spring or summer. The CTE credential program can typically be completed over the course of about 4-6 months. Generally speaking, CTE credential programs can be completed alongside work obligations.

EnCorps, in general, does not consider the CTE credential program on its own sufficient training for the rigors of full time teaching, even though it may give you a certification. CTE credential programs do not include a student teaching component, and therefore the EnCorps Guest Teaching experience is an important component of becoming a CTE teacher.

A CTE credential enables you to teach specialized elective courses that correspond to industry sectors. You are not able to teach core or traditional classes (like geometry or chemistry) with a CTE credential. Not all schools have CTE programs, so it’s important to know whether schools you are interested in working with have this option for students.

Single Subject Credentials
A single subject credential allows you to teach traditional core subjects such as math, physics, chemistry, biology and earth science.

Traditional Programs – This standard course of teacher preparation provides coursework and then student teaching. This option is largely based in a university or college, and includes a student teaching component. A traditional program can be completed full time for 1 academic year, or part time for 1.5-2 academic years.

Residency Programs – Modeled after a medical residency, a teaching residency program focuses on the “clinical experience” as opposed to coursework. This gives teaching students or “residents” hands on experience in classrooms and the chance to implement ideas in a classroom setting, while receiving feedback and support from expert practitioners. Residents simultaneously take graduate level classes. Residency programs are less common and more selective. Residency programs usually include a master’s degree in education and are full time commitments that usually last one academic year.

Intern Programs – An internship program allows individuals to work in the classroom as a paid “teacher of record” while simultaneously completing a credential program. Interns are working teachers and paid a salary by the school/district. Interns need to complete credential requirements during evenings and weekends, on top of their teaching duties. This coursework takes 1-2 years to complete, and interns do not have the benefit of receiving training and practice before starting. It’s also important to note that by law, schools must give hiring priority to any candidate who has a preliminary credential over an intern, so interns are usually hired later in the hiring season.

Colorado EnCorps Fellows may earn a teaching license in math or science. 

Initial Teacher License

Traditional Programs – This standard course of teacher preparation provides coursework and then student teaching. This option is largely based in a university or college, and includes a student teaching component. A traditional program can be completed full time for 1 academic year, or part time for 1.5-2 academic years.

Residency Programs – Modeled after a medical residency, a teaching residency program focuses on the “clinical experience” as opposed to coursework. This gives teaching students or “residents” hands on experience in classrooms and the chance to implement ideas in a classroom setting, while receiving feedback and support from expert practitioners. Residents simultaneously take graduate level classes. Residency programs are less common and more selective. Residency programs usually include a master’s degree in education and are full time commitments that usually last one academic year.

Alternative Teacher Licensure
Teacher of Record Programs – An alternative teacher licensure program allows individuals to work in the classroom as a paid “teacher of record” while simultaneously completing coursework for their teacher license. Teachers of Record are working teachers and paid a salary by the school/district. You will need to complete licensure requirements during evenings and weekends, on top of teaching duties. This coursework takes 1-2 years to complete. It’s also important to note that by law, schools must give hiring priority to any candidate who has an initial or professional teacher license over an alternative license, so teachers of record are usually hired later in the hiring season.

**Colorado Fellows also have the option to pursue a non-licensed teaching position within a charter school after their Guest Teaching experience.