Monday, November 29, 2010

Troops to Teachers

A recent study by the Georgetown Univer¬sity Center on Education and the Workforce illustrates that by the year 2018, the United States will require 22 million new college degrees to fill the next generation of jobs (Carnevale, Smith, & Strohl, 2010). The economy has shifted from a manufacturing base of steel and Autos to Ipod’s and computer cubicles with workers employing increasingly complex skills that require constantly changing educational needs.

For veterans and servicemembers the need for postsecondary education has never been more critical. One path that many military members have used to earn degrees and find employment is the Troops to Teachers program. Troops to Teachers is a national program that helps qualified military personnel start a profession as a teacher and there is financial assistance and employment counseling for qualified servicemembers.

The Program Coordinator for N.Y.S Troops to Teachers, Rick Jackson, recommends that interested service members and veterans determine eligibility at

Each interested service member should review the requirements at the Troops to Teachers program however here is a basic overview of the requirements. To be eligible a person must meet one of the following criteria:

A. Retired from active duty or reserves,

B. Active duty member with approved date of retirement with one year or less remaining before retirement,

C. Currently serving in the Selected Reserve with 10 or more years of creditable service towards retirement and commit to serving an additional three years,

D. Separated for a service-determined physical disability on or after January 8, 2002. Must register within four years after separation.

For those qualified, financial assistance may be given one of a few ways;

1. A stipend of up to $5K for teacher certification expenses for which individuals must teach for three years at a public school within a “high-need” school district.

2. A bonus of $10K to teach for three years in a public school within a “high-need” school district in which the school also serves a high percentage of disadvantaged students.

There are a few routes to become a teacher for servicemembers. The first, is that a participant must hold a bachelor’s degree or higher and be eligible on the state level to be a teacher. A second route that is particularly beneficial to military personnel is that if you have one year of academic coursework and six years of career and technical experience you could meet the requirements to be a vocational/technical teacher in your state of residence. According to Mr. Jackson interested veterans and servicemembers should contact their state office to discuss the options available for becoming a teacher in that state because their are many routes to certification.

Another route to certification is the State University of New York’s Empire State College that has a Master of Arts in Teaching Program that allows for provisional teacher certification after 15 semester hours are earned in the degree program.

Because each state regulates the licensing of teachers at the state level it is imperative to contact a Troops to Teachers representative at the state level. Troops to Teachers State offices can be found at:


Carnevale, A, P., Smith, N., & Strohl, J. (2010). Help Wanted: Projections of Jobs and Education through 2018.
Troops to Teachers Program. (2010).

DANTES Troops to Teachers State office listings. (2010).
N.Y.S Troops to Teachers Office. (2010).

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