CSUN students accepted into competitive teaching program

young woman with short brown hair pictured holding her chiuahua
General Sociology major Jennifer McCune, who will teach middle school in the Los Angeles area.

Graduation is around the corner and although some students are unsure about their plans after graduation, some have found careers in teaching others.

Three students from CSUN’s class of 2017 have been selected to join Teach for America for the upcoming academic year.

Teach for America is a non-profit organization that aims to serve public schools around the country and provide quality education.

Stephanie Marecki, a recruitment manager at CSUN, said that students who have applied for the program are well prepared for post-graduate experiences.

“Our program is actually very competitive,” Marecki said. “The CSUN students that were accepted into the program are among the 14 percent accepted to Teach For America each year—no small task,” Marecki said.

Jennifer McCune, a sociology major, said she always wanted to be a teacher and was inspired to pursue her dream after the presidential election.

“I was really inspired by their mission that one day all children will have access to a great education,” McCune said.

People who apply to the organization are from all majors, backgrounds, and regions in the U.S. According to Marecki, most applicants do not have teaching experience, but that should not deter students from applying to the organization.

Marecki said that a community of coaches help ensure that new teachers are providing the best education. Students from any particular major help teach material to their peers, which helps build their sense of community and commitment to education.

Both McCune and Marecki suggest that interested students apply early. Each state will require different standardized tests so they encourage applicants to space out their application with their exams.

“I would encourage students that are interested in the organization to register on our website,” Marecki said. “You can unlock loads of information on where we work, what that work looks like and get the opportunity to talk to recruiters.”

CSUN has had an increase in graduates applying who meet criteria. In addition, recruitment efforts have increased at the university.

    Teach for America allows its members to teach full time while getting their credentials, something that appealed to McCune. As a full-time student, working a full-time job and completing all the requirements for Teach for America, McCune is looking forward to the experience and her hard work paying off.
    She said she is excited to begin her career in a field that focuses on the social and educational development of the next generation, while being supported by like-minded peers.

    “I know that this experience will change my life and the course of my professional future,” McCune said. “I will learn so much from the kids I teach, which will only be a benefit to my future students.”

    McCune added that her undergraduate education at CSUN was invaluable in helping her prepare to work in public service.

    “The department has given me a wider range of understanding and awareness of social disparities, which will be a key in my success as a TFA teacher.”

        The other two students accepted into the programs are Jessica Rios, who will be teaching elementary school in Sacramento and Judith Galvan, who will be teaching middle school in Los Angeles.