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


How do I know if I am eligible for EnCorps?

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

  1. Currently live in an area we serve (Greater San Francisco Bay Area, Greater Sacramento Area, Greater Los Angeles Area, Orange County, San Diego)
  2. Have at least 3 or more years of work or research experience as a STEM industry professional. (At least one year of STEM work experience must be within the last five years or two years within the last ten years. One year equals a minimum of 1000 clock hours and the experience may be full-time or part-time, paid or unpaid. Part-time work experience may be accumulated to equate to the required hours or years of work experience.)
  3. Be fully eligible to work in the United States (US Citizen, Permanent Resident, Work Visa)
  4. Hold an undergraduate degree with a 2.50 GPA or higher
  5. Not currently hold a California single subject 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 single subject teaching credential that is current (not expired) you are not eligible to apply for EnCorps. Our program is designed to assist math and science professionals in their transition to teaching careers. However, if you hold a Career and Technical Education (CTE) credential and wish to earn a single subject teaching credential or hold an out-of-state credential, you are eligible to apply.

What if I do not have a science, technology, engineering or math 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 Greater San Francisco Bay Area, Greater Sacramento Area, Greater Los Angeles Area, San Diego, 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.


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 20-30 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. What are your reasons for wanting to tutor or teach STEM with this specific population of students? What do you hope your future work with this population of students will accomplish for them?
  2. Describe a time in your professional life when you demonstrated flexibility or adaptability in a situation that was challenging and/or not under your control. What obstacles did you face, what actions did you take and what did you learn from it?

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. There is no length requirement to your responses, but we encourage you to completely express your thoughts and feelings. We recommend composing answers in a separate document and pasting your responses into the online application when you are satisfied with them.

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 eligibility criteria 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 enables us to get to know you better and to make a final decision on your fit for the program. Interview Day generally takes about 3 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
  • Complete a written reflection
  • 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 EnCorps' eligibility requirements. Why wasn't I accepted?

The EnCorps STEM Teachers Program is highly selective. Our eligibility requirements 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 eligibility requirements 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 explore the possibility of becoming a STEM teacher in a high needs middle or high school. All Fellows will participate in the EnCorps program for a minimum of two years, this includes the time enrolled in a teacher credentialing program. In their first year with EnCorps, all Fellows volunteer as pre-service tutors or guest teachers for 2-5 hours per week in one of our partner schools as an opportunity to experience teaching and working with students first-hand. Following pre-service, Fellows may earn their CTE or Single Subject credential or continue to volunteer for an additional year. All Fellows are expected to attend an EnCorps orientation, EnCorps professional development events (Summer Residential Institute, Fall and Spring Institutes) and participate in other training EnCorps offers.

What benefits are there to joining EnCorps?

TThe EnCorps STEM Teaching Fellowship is a rigorous on-ramp and exploration of a teaching career — offering the field experience, knowledge and connections to ensure our Fellows thrive. 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 schools and after-school programs 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. As an EnCorps Fellow, 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. EnCorps offers the following:

Immediate field experience working with high need students as a tutor and/or guest teacher
Mentorship from EnCorps staff and an experienced host teacher
Exam support and credentialing guidance
Robust slate of professional development
Collaborative cohort of peers to share ideas, support and best practices
Opportunity to work in a variety of school districts and charter networks

What is EnCorps pre-service (tutoring and guest teaching)?

All EnCorps Fellows will engage in volunteer pre-service for at least one semester of 2-5 hours per week when beginning the EnCorps program as a way to explore education and gain field experience working with students.

Tutoring: Most Fellows begin their journey into teaching as a volunteer and observer in local EnCorps partner schools. Tutoring occurs in after school and/or enrichment programs or in a classroom. Fellows spend 2-5 hours per week facilitating student learning and gaining valuable experience in schools and with students. This exploration into teaching provides Fellows with time to take any required exams and consider whether full time teaching is the right pathway.
Guest Teaching: During this phase, Fellows are paired with a mentor teacher and spend at least 2-5 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 Fellows to gain valuable classroom experience and to make connections with schools that may eventually be looking to hire STEM teachers.

Is there a cost to the program?

EnCorps provides our Fellows with support, resources and coaching, free of charge. This includes, but is not limited to: CSET test prep materials (if needed), coaching, professional development, and support services including Summer Residential Institute, Fall and Spring Institutes and online webinars. EnCorps also assists Fellows with finding financially feasible credentialing programs, grants, scholarships, and financial aid to offset the cost of obtaining the credential.
While EnCorps support services are free, Fellows 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.
During pre-service EnCorps Fellows 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 Fellows, but we do not hire, pay or financially subsidize our Fellows. EnCorps staff will assist and support Fellows in finding a paid position once they have completed their teacher credentialing program or are eligible for an intern credential.

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 2-5 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 formal professional development events each year — Summer Residential Institute (SRI) typically in June and Fall and Spring Institutes. In addition, EnCorps offers online webinars and in-person professional learning communities. 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 the benefits of being an EnCorps Fellow.