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Applicant FAQs You are here: Home - Join - Applicant FAQs

Eligibility

How do I know if I am eligible for EnCorps?

In order to meet basic eligibility requirements, a candidate must:

  1. Live in an area that EnCorps serves (San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego)
  2. Have at least 3 or more years of experience as a STEM industry professional
  3. Be fully eligible to work in the United States (US Citizen, Permanent Resident, Work Visa)
  4. Hold an undergraduate degree with a GPA of 2.50 or higher
  5. Not already hold a California single subject or CTE teaching credential
  6. Complete and submit EnCorps’ Online Application

Am I eligible if I have no previous teaching experience or prior coursework in education?

Yes! The EnCorps STEM Teachers Program is designed to support professionals in the math, science, engineering, and technology fields who are interested in exploring teaching as a profession, and who demonstrate leadership, achievement, and a commitment to urban education. Previous coursework or experience in education is not necessary.

Does my math/science teaching or tutoring experience count as 3+ years as a STEM professional?

While we recognize that teaching and tutoring experience at the K-12 or college level is valuable, EnCorps is specifically designed for STEM professionals with industry experience, who can directly answer the question of relevance for students. If your teaching experience includes research, you may be eligible.

If I already have a teaching credential can I apply?

If you already possess a California teaching credential you are not eligible to apply for EnCorps. Our program is designed to assist math and science professionals in their transition to teaching careers.

What if I do not have a math or science background?

California’s high-needs schools often struggle to find highly qualified math and science teachers. This is why the EnCorps Teacher Program’s mission is to recruit, prepare, and support science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) professionals as they make the transition to teaching in low-income schools. If you do not have a background as a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) professional, the EnCorps Program is not right for you. If you are interested in teaching other subjects, please visit the CTC’s web page for credentialing options.

Can I apply if I am out of state?

We currently only serve the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Orange County regions. If you are planning to relocate to these regions and would be available for an in-person interview in the region, please apply. If you do not currently live in one of our service areas, please be in touch with us once you relocate. We can not currently respond to applications from outside our service areas.

Application

Is there a paper application?

No. All applications must be submitted online.

How long will the application take to complete?

The entire process should take you 30-60 minutes. You do not have to complete the application in one sitting. At the end of each page, you have the option to save your work and come back to complete it later.

What should I include in my responses to the application questions?

We ask candidates to thoughtfully address each of the following application questions in 4-6 sentences:

  1. EnCorps works primarily with under-resourced students who attend high need schools in disadvantaged communities. What are your reasons for wanting to tutor or teach this population of students?
  2. Describe a time when you were a beginner or novice at something that was extremely challenging. What obstacles did you face, what did it feel like to you, and how did you respond?

Your answers to the open response questions are an integral part of the application, and it is important to make sure you have complete and thoughtful answers to each question. We expect that each answer should be, at minimum, 200 words long. More importantly, your responses should fully express your feelings and opinions as they relate to the question prompt.

What happens after I apply?

An EnCorps staff member will review your application after you have submitted it. You will be informed of our decision within approximately 1 week. If you meet our pre-requisites and appear to be a good fit for the program, we will invite you to one of our in-person Interview Days. If after that Interview Day, we confirm that you are a good fit for our program, we will extend an offer for you to join the program.

Do I need to send transcripts when I apply?

No. Transcripts are not necessary for completing your application. We trust you to tell us the truth about your educational and professional history. Please note, however, that official transcripts will be required when you apply to teaching credential programs.

Interview Day

What happens at Interview Day?

Our Interview Day (sometimes called Preliminary Assessment (PA) Day), enables us to get to know you better and to make a final decision on your fit for the program. Both EnCorps teacher candidates and STEM Expert Tutor candidates interview in the same format. Interview Day events generally run about 4 hours. Candidates are placed into small groups with EnCorps Assessors (interviewers). Each candidate is asked to:

  • Present a 5-minute sample teaching lesson
  • Participate in a group discussion
  • Write about a realistic education scenario
  • Engage in a one-on-one interview

Each candidate is evaluated holistically, and successful candidates will demonstrate the potential to positively impact student learning and achievement in a high-needs school during each part of the interview day.

More information about interview days and how to prepare for them will be provided to qualified candidates who receive an invitation to interview.

I meet all of the program's pre-requisites. Why wasn't I accepted?

The EnCorps STEM Teachers Program is a selective program. Our pre-requisites are only the minimum qualifications necessary to be considered for the program and meeting them in no way guarantees acceptance. Although ensuring candidates meet our program’s pre-requisites is an important step in our initial review of applications, our selection process is ultimately driven by our desire to identify individuals with strong track records of achievement in their previous endeavors that demonstrate a steadfast commitment towards improving the achievement of students in California’s high-needs schools. Unfortunately, due to the volume of applicants, we are not able to provide individual feedback to candidates.

I wasn't accepted. Can I appeal the decision?


Because we receive an exceptional number of applications each year, we are unable to provide personalized feedback to applicants who have not been accepted to the program. We encourage all applicants interested in education to continue to pursue teaching through other avenues. You can begin your research on other programs by visiting the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) website.

EnCorps Program

What will my commitment be to the EnCorps STEM Teachers Program?

When you join EnCorps, you are committing to two years in public education. All Educators and STEMx Tutors begin their experience with a semester of volunteer tutoring for 3-5 hours per week. Throughout the first semester, EnCorps participants decide on a credentialing (career pathway) or STEMx tutoring track. Credentialing pathway Educators will complete a teacher credentialing program and commit to teaching for 3 or more years in a high-needs school. STEMx Tutors commit to volunteering for at least one additional year. All participants are expected to attend EnCorps professional development events (Summer Residential Institute, Fall and Spring Institutes) and participate in other training EnCorps offers.

How does EnCorps help me explore education?

Tutoring: You will begin your journey into teaching as a volunteer and observer in local EnCorps partner schools. Your first experience will be tutoring students in after school and/or enrichment programs or in a classroom. You will spend 3-5 hours per week facilitating student learning and gaining valuable experience in schools and with students. This exploration into teaching provides you with time to take any required exams and consider whether full time teaching is the right pathway for you.
Guest Teaching: During this phase, you will be paired with a mentor teacher and spend at least 3-5 hours per week in that teacher’s classroom observing, working with individuals and small groups of students, and eventually teaching portions of lessons and whole lessons to the class. This structured, semester-long program provides an opportunity for you to gain valuable classroom experience and to make connections with schools that may eventually be looking to hire STEM teachers.

What benefits are there to joining EnCorps?

The EnCorps STEM Teachers Program exists to support STEM professionals as they make the transition to teaching. That means we set you up with experiences in the classroom that help you determine whether or not full-time teaching is the best fit for you. We place you with partner agencies for tutoring and guest teaching and when you are ready to enter the classroom full-time, we help you make connections with principals and schools. Upon entering your first year of teaching at a high-needs school, you become eligible for 100% Tuition Reimbursement through federal and state forgiveness programs. As an EnCorps Educator, you will join a network of like-minded professionals dedicated to closing the achievement gap and to making a difference in the lives of their students.

Is there a cost to the program?

EnCorps provides our Educators the following free of charge: CSET test prep materials (if needed), coaching, professional development, and support services including Summer Residential Institute, Fall and Spring Institutes and online web seminars (webinars). EnCorps also assists Educators with finding financially feasible credentialing programs and grants, scholarships and financial aid to offset the cost of obtaining the credential.
While EnCorps support services are free, program participants are responsible for fingerprinting/LiveScan fees, Tuberculosis testing fee, test registration fees and fees associated with ordering transcripts. They are also responsible for all credentialing tuition, as well as all materials and textbooks required by a credentialing program.
EnCorps Educators who are tutoring and guest-teaching are considered volunteers and are unpaid.

Is this a paid position?

The EnCorps STEM Teachers Program offers many resources to our Educators, but we do not hire, pay or financially subsidize our Educators. EnCorps staff will assist and support Educators in finding a paid position once they have completed their teacher credentialing program.

May I work while exploring a transition to teaching with EnCorps?

Yes, for portions of the EnCorps program, it is possible to work full time. The first semester of EnCorps’ pre-service volunteering is designed to allow STEM professionals to continue working in their industry as they explore teaching as a career. This can be done with after-school or weekend volunteer tutoring assignments for 1-5 hours per week. It is more difficult to work while guest teaching in the second semester of EnCorps’ program.

What is the professional development training?

EnCorps holds three professional development events a year — a 3-day Summer Residential Institute (SRI) typically in June and Fall and Spring Institutes. At SRI, EnCorps facilitates workshops that address many topics for new teachers and transitioning professionals. Key topics include:

  • Understanding how to manage a classroom
  • Understanding the history, challenges, and current successes in urban education
  • Planning lessons
  • Building relationships with students
  • Setting and achieving ambitious learning goals for students

For additional information, see What We Offer to Our Educators.

STEMx Tutors

How do I apply?

Applications are only accepted online. EnCorps uses the same rigorous application and interview process for our career pathway Educators and STEMx Tutors because at different points throughout your EnCorps experience, you may choose to switch over to another pathway (ie. STEMx tutors, single subject credential, CTE credential). STEMx Tutors also have the same access to resources and partners as our career pathway educators and are highly regarded as an invaluable resource to our partner schools and non-profits. Please apply here.

What will the interview look like?

Our Interview Day (sometimes called Preliminary Assessment (PA) Day), enables us to get to know you better and to make a final decision on your fit for the program. Both EnCorps teacher candidates and STEM Expert Tutor candidates interview in the same format. Interview Day events generally run about 4 hours. Candidates are placed into small groups with EnCorps Assessors (interviewers). Each candidate is asked to:

  • Present a 5-minute sample teaching lesson
  • Participate in a group discussion
  • Write about a realistic education scenario
  • Engage in a one-on-one interview

Each candidate is evaluated holistically, and successful candidates will demonstrate the potential to positively impact student learning and achievement in a high-needs school during each part of the interview day.

More information about interview days and how to prepare for them will be provided to qualified candidates who receive an invitation to interview.

What is the time commitment?

STEMx Tutors commit to one to five hours per week for two years, during the school year (typically mid-August to May). There is flexibility in finding a match that works for your availability, grade level, subject and geographic preferences. We will do our best to match you with a middle or high school or after-school program that is convenient for you.

What kind of training will I receive?

STEMx Tutors are invited to participate in all of EnCorps’ training for career pathway Educators  as well as those specifically geared toward tutors. This includes Summer Residential Institute (3-day training and professional development event), Fall and Spring Institutes (1-day events), webinars and conference calls, tutoring “office hours” and informal get-togethers regionally. In addition, EnCorps provides STEMx Tutors with a Tutoring Handbook with tips, tricks and templates. STEMx Tutors will also participate in an initial orientation or meeting with their host site.

Will I be placed in a school or after-school program close to my home/work?

EnCorps does our best to place STEMx Tutors in a convenient location either close to home or work. We partner with many schools and after-school programs in each of our regions so there is usually a convenient location for most participants and EnCorps is always working to develop additional partnerships.