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“Teaching Fellows make an immeasurable difference in the lives and futures of their students, as I have seen with the thousands of Fellows who are currently teaching in our schools today. Their ability to meet challenges and stay focused on the goal of raising student achievement makes them an incredibly important part of their schools.” –Former Chancellor Joel Klein 


Our History

In the spring of 2000, the NYC Teaching Fellows program was launched to address the most severe teacher shortage in the New York City public school system in decades.


At the time, New York suffered from a chronic shortage of qualified teachers, with nearly 11,000 uncertified teachers working in the district, disproportionately teaching in the city’s highest-need schools. The results were predictable: low graduation rates and persistent achievement gaps, with fewer than 40 percent of Black and Hispanic students graduating on schedule.


Over the past decade, New York City schools have improved dramatically, with graduation rates climbing steadily. While much work remains, nearly 60 percent of Black and Hispanic students now graduate within four years, and our Fellows have played an instrumental role in that progress.


An initiative of the New York City Department of Education, the Fellowship recruits and selects accomplished professionals and recent graduates with the academic expertise to teach critical shortage subjects. Our innovative preparation builds on the deep content knowledge our candidates already possess. This begins with an intensive summer training program and continues with a subsidized master’s degree.


Since our program launched, thousands of new teachers have been recruited and trained through our highly selective program and have profoundly transformed teacher quality in the nation’s largest school district.


Today, more than 9,000 Teaching Fellows – 12 percent of New York’s teaching force – work in the city’s schools, accounting for more than 20 percent of the city’s math, science, and special education teachers. According to independent research by the Urban Institute, these Fellows are largely responsible for a “remarkable narrowing” of the gap in teacher qualifications between high- and low-poverty schools.


We are proud of the progress that has been made, but we know there is still work to be done to provide all of New York City’s students with the excellent education they need.


Our Values

The NYC Teaching Fellows program is dedicated to providing the highest-quality alternative certification teacher training in the city. Our unique combination of foundational skills training, intensive practice, real-time feedback, and comprehensive support sets Fellows up for success – on day one and for many years to come.  


Teaching Fellows are committed to teaching NYC’s diverse students, many of whom have special needs or are new immigrants or non-native English speakers, and to teaching critical-need subject areas, including math and science. They put student learning front and center – believing that every student can achieve at a high level and doing whatever it takes to help them get there.


Our innovative Fellows are excellent teachers who advocate for their students and maximize their impact by starting clubs, serving as department chairs, running professional development sessions, traveling to conferences, writing grants, coaching sports, and building their school communities.


“I became a Fellow in June 2004, and since I began teaching in my own classroom, I have gone to school every day excited to teach and communicate with my children. Some jobs fill your pocket, but this job fills your heart.” – Sharaz, 2004 Fellow


Our Latest Cohort of Fellows

June 2015 was a highly selective admissions season. More than 7,000 candidates applied for admission.  Learn more about the education, career, ethnic, and geographic backgrounds of this dynamic group.


Awards and Recognition

New York City Teaching Fellows are often recognized for their teaching accomplishments. View a collection of news articles about their successes.


Press Materials

Read more about our impact and history in our press kit and brochure. For media inquiries, please contact Anna Kelly, Talent Sourcing Manager, at