Breakthrough Collaborative Teaching Fellowships offer college students from across the U.S. an opportunity to teach motivated middle school students from under-resourced schools and help them prepare for success in academically rigorous environments. The program operates summer programs for these students in over 25 U.S. cities.
Breakthrough Teaching Fellows receive extensive training before taking up their positions and continuous support during the summer. Each fellow is given the opportunity to lead a classroom while contributing to a dynamic and diverse community.
Breakthrough Teaching Fellowships are unpaid, but fellows receive a stipend for living expenses, and some sites are able to provide additional financial aid. Most sites also provide housing assistance that includes limited local dormitory or homestay accommodations, sometimes provided at no cost and sometimes provided for a fee. Candidates should consult Breakthrough’s site directory for more information about these details.
Any college student in the U.S. is eligible to apply, and applications are encouraged from students from all disciplines. Applicants need not have any formal coursework in education or prior teaching experience—the program’s training is intensive. The program’s main expectation of applicants is genuine commitment to improving access to educational opportunities for talented and hard-working students from low-income backgrounds. Those selected as fellows are committed, hard-working, collaborative, and energized by learning. They are also typically academically successful and engaged in leadership activities.
The application process requires prospective teachers to submit essays, a sample teaching video, transcripts, and a recommendation. Applicants who progress to the final round are invited for an interview.
Note: Columbia undergraduates may contact two Breakthrough alumni on campus whom the organization has designated Campus Leaders—Amanda Brodsky ’15BC (Psychology) and Varun Kumar ’16SEAS (Applied Mathematics).