If you’re an active, honorably discharged or retired member of the military who’s considering a career in teaching, the Troops to Teachers program could help you reach your goal. This national program provides assistance for military personnel who are interested in transitioning into a second career in public education. The program is funded by the Department of Defense.
Troops to Teachers Program Overview
The Department of Defense established the TTT program in 1994 to help recruit quality teachers for high-needs schools across America. In addition to helping current and former members of the military begin a new career, the program helps relieve teacher shortages. The military is an excellent source for mature, disciplined and experienced individuals who can serve as positive role models for students. Since 2000, the TTT program has been under the jurisdiction of the Department of Education but continues to be operated by the Department of Defense. The program is managed by DANTES (the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support), which is located in Pensacola, Florida. The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 focused the TTT program on addressing the shortage of teachers in schools in low-income communities, especially in science, math and special education subject areas.
Troops to Teachers Program Features
Troops to Teachers is not a teacher certification program. Working through a network of state offices, the TTT program provides participants with certification counseling and referrals for employment leads. The program targets grades K-12 in public school systems and does not include Department of Defense schools.
Before you jump into a teacher education program, it’s important to do the necessary research into the teaching profession. Troops for Teachers will provide advice and counseling about all of the steps to becoming a teacher in the state of your choice, from basic considerations about whether you’ll like teaching to what subject you want to teach and where you’ll complete your teacher certification program.
Eligible TTT participants may receive stipends of up to $5,000 to defray the cost of teacher certification training and bonuses of up to $10,000 to teach in high-needs schools. Recipients of stipends and bonuses must commit to teaching for three years at targeted schools.
Troops to Teacher Program Eligibility
To participate in the program with the goal of becoming an elementary or secondary teacher, you must currently have a bachelor’s degree or higher. To become a vocational or technical instructor, you must have the equivalent of one year of college and six years work experience in the technical or vocational field where you want to teach. The program has detailed military service requirements that define the length of service and type of discharge needed for eligibility.
You can find out more about the Troops to Teacher program and register by visiting the DANTES website. If you’re on active duty or a member of the reserves, you can register at any time and receive counseling services, but financial assistance is only available in the final year before your retirement. The DANTES website also provides information about a wide range of nontraditional educational opportunities such as distance learning that can help service members who don’t have access to classroom courses due to their location or work schedule.