EnCorps Teachers

Frequently Asked Questions


Yes. Previous coursework or experience in education is not necessary. The EnCorps STEM Teachers Program is designed to support professionals and experts in the science, technology, education and math (STEM) fields  who are interested in exploring teaching in high-needs schools, and who demonstrate leadership, achievement, and a commitment to urban education.

The EnCorps STEM Teachers Program is designed for STEM professionals with industry experience, STEM graduate students with research assistant experience, as well as individuals who have subject-matter expertise and passion for math and/or science. Please Apply and provide details on your STEM experience, education and demonstrated passion for STEM.

If you already possess a current teaching credential / certification or teaching license in a core subject in the state in which you are applying, you are not eligible for the EnCorps STEM Teachers Program. 

However, if you hold a Career and Technical Education (CTE) credential and wish to earn a teaching credential / license / certification in a core subject or hold an out-of-state credential, you are eligible. 

We currently serve the Greater San Francisco Bay Area, Greater Los Angeles Area, North Orange County, Greater San Diego Area. Greater Riverside Area, Greater Sacramento Area as well as the New York City Metropolitan Area. View Program Overview for map of where we work.

If you are planning to relocate to these regions and would be available for in-person training in the region within a month of accepting a Teaching Fellowship, 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.

You do not need your transcripts when you submit an application, but you will need to provide your GPA on a 4.0 scale. Please note that official transcripts will be required when you apply to a teacher credential program. 

Reach out to a recruiter at apply@encorps.org or visit the MEET page to attend an upcoming information session or book a call with a recruiter.


No. All applications must be submitted online.

The entire process should take you 15-20 minutes. You do not have to complete the application in one sitting.

Please go to the Apply page for information on the process. 

If you can’t find our emails in your spam folder, please contact us at apply@encorps.org. 


The EnCorps team will invite qualified candidates for the STEM Teachers Program to record a video interview via an email invitation to our video interview platform. 

We want to learn about you and your desire to explore teaching. We do not look for perfection, we are simply looking for your authentic response to our questions. You must use a computer with a webcam and Google Chrome browser in order to record your video. You will know the questions we are going to ask in advance and you are free to record up to three times.

Many of us feel anxious when recording a video. However, our platform allows you to delete and re-record the video several times. 

Our final interviews enable us to get to know you better and to make a final decision. Interviews generally bring together a small group of candidates and take about 2-2.5 hours.

Successful candidates will demonstrate the potential to positively impact student learning and achievement in a high-needs school and share EnCorps’ belief in STEM educational equity. Please read our mission, vision and core values.

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 does not guarantee acceptance. 

Due to the volume of applicants, we are not able to provide individual feedback to candidates.

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. 

Program Commitments

When you join EnCorps, you are committing to explore becoming a middle or high school teacher in an under-resourced community within the next one to three years.

In addition, you commit to completing online professional development, attending Guest Teacher Training and volunteering a minimum of two hours per week for 10 consecutive weeks with an EnCorps Host Teacher in one of our 250+ high-needs partner schools in California or New York City.

When you are accepted into the program, we expect you to explore becoming a teacher within one to three years. You will chart a path to teaching that meets your requirements and timeline with your dedicated Program Coordinator. 

The EnCorps STEM Teachers Program is a rigorous and supported on-ramp to a teaching career. The program offers you the field experience, knowledge and connections to ensure you thrive in the classroom and make an informed decision about becoming a STEM teacher.

You will be matched with one of our high-needs partner schools for volunteer 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 opportunity gap for students who lack equitable access to a high-quality STEM education.

As an EnCorps Fellow you will:

  • Gain valuable field experience during your 10-week volunteer guest teaching
  • Receive mentorship from EnCorps staff and your experienced host teacher
  • Receive exam support and credentialing/licensing/certification guidance
  • Have access to a robust slate of professional development
  • Join a collaborative cohort of peers to share ideas, support and best practices

The EnCorps STEM Teachers Program is free of charge. Our support includes, but is not limited to: test prep materials (if needed), coaching, access to our twice-monthly online professional development and our annual Learning Summit, guest teaching opportunity, and a community of like-minded STEM professionals. EnCorps also assists Fellows with finding financially feasible teacher credentialing/licensure/certification programs, grants, scholarships, and financial aid to offset the cost of obtaining a teaching credential.

While EnCorps support services are free, you are responsible for fingerprinting fees (in California a $100 stipend is available towards fingerprinting fees upon submission of proof of payment), Tuberculosis testing fee, test registration fees and fees associated with ordering transcripts.

As an EnCorps Fellow you are also responsible for all credentialing/licensure/certification tuition, as well as all materials and textbooks required by a credentialing/licensure/certification program.

During Guest Teaching, you are considered volunteers and are unpaid. However, if you are completing your Guest Teaching in California you will receive a $200 travel stipend once they complete all guest teaching. If you are a New York Fellow, you receive a $500 stipend for guest teaching and $150 travel stipend once they complete all guest teaching requirements.

No. The EnCorps STEM Teachers Program does not hire, pay or financially subsidize participants.

Yes. If after exploring the process to become a teacher by guest teaching, participating in training and networking and coaching with your Program Coordinator you decide not to become a teacher, you may then exit the program or choose to volunteer as an EnCorps STEMx Tutor.

Yes. EnCorps’ volunteer Guest Teaching is designed to allow you to continue working in your industry as you gain experience teaching. You will work with your host teacher to schedule your two hours per week for 10 consecutive weeks Guest Teaching commitment.

Professional development is an important component of the STEM Teachers Program. Please visit our LEARN page to view our upcoming sessions as well as peruse the Learning Summit section for details on our annual in-person and online conference. 

Guest Teaching

You will engage in volunteer Guest Teaching for two hours per week for 10 consecutive weeks as a way to gain field experience working with students. 

As a volunteer Guest Teacher, you are paired with a mentor teacher and spend 2-5 hours per week in the 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.

Your Program Coordinator will propose partner school options based on information you provided during your Welcome Call, including: your work schedule, geography, grade level or subject preferences. We do our very best to match you with a partner school site that meets your needs.

If you are invited to a final interview, you will receive a map of our Guest Teaching schools in your area. 

EnCorps is only able to place Fellows in schools with whom we have a written agreement. 

If you have a school in mind that is not an EnCorps partner school, we can see about forming an agreement with those schools, but please be aware that this process can take several months.

Once you are selected to be an EnCorps Fellow, along with other expectations, you will need to:

  1. Attend an EnCorps Guest Teacher Training. 
  2. Obtain a Tuberculosis test from your doctor or healthcare provider. You’ll need to do this only once; You can use it with multiple sites, including the school you get hired to teach at. The cost of a TB test is usually $30-50, although your insurance may subsidize this. You are encouraged to obtain your TB test right away upon acceptance to EnCorps.
  3. Undergo fingerprinting. Your placement site will have more specific instructions about this for you. The cost of fingerprinting varies from $20 – $90 and schools will sometimes cover this cost. If your school does not cover the cost, EnCorps will reimburse up to $100 for the cost of fingerprinting upon receiving proof of payment.


EnCorps Fellows begin teaching within one to three years from their application date. You will work with your dedicated Program Coordinator to formulate a path that works best for you.

Yes. Substitute teaching can be a great stepping stone for earning your teaching credential/license/certification and getting into teaching full time. It is also a way to earn an income while you transition to teaching. Although substitute teaching is not a formal part of EnCorps’ program, your Program Coordinator can help get you connected to substitute teach in some of our partner schools as well.

Substitute teaching requirements vary by state:

  • California: To become a substitute teacher, you will need to satisfy the basic skills requirements (see CTC site for details) set by the state, undergo fingerprinting, and submit an application to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) for your 30-day substitute teaching permit. This allows you to substitute in any California public school. Once this is completed and processed, you will be able to apply to any number of districts and charter school networks. There is additional information on the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) website.
  • New York: If you are working toward certification by taking coursework you may substitute teach without any additional certifications. If you are not currently working on a certification, you can still substitute teach with a nomination and bachelor’s degree. Go to the NYC Department of Education website for more information.

The EnCorps program is designed so that you can continue working. You are expected to spend two hours per week for 10 consecutive weeks at a school site Guest Teaching. Many EnCorps Fellows also pursue substitute teaching if they are not currently working full-time. It is also possible to earn your teaching credential/licensure/certification on a part-time basis or online, allowing you to work during this time.

Teacher Credentialing

Career Technical Education (CTE)

Career Technical Education (CTE) programs are shorter and less expensive than single-subject programs and are typically online or evenings and weekends. They do not include student teaching or classroom-based experience and take into account your 3+ years of professional STEM experience. There are online CTE programs that start on a rolling basis year-round, so you will be able to complete a CTE credential in the fall, winter, spring or summer. The CTE credential program can typically be completed in 4-6 months. Generally speaking, CTE credential programs can be completed alongside work obligations.

A CTE credential enables you to teach specialized elective courses that correspond to industry sectors. You are not able to teach core or traditional classes (like geometry or chemistry) with a CTE credential. Not all schools have CTE programs, so it’s important to know whether schools you are interested in working with have this option for students. For more information go to: California CTE.

Single Subject Credentials

A single subject credential allows you to teach traditional core subjects such as math, physics, chemistry, biology and earth science.

Traditional Programs – This standard course of teacher preparation provides coursework and then student teaching. This option is largely based in a university or college, and includes a student teaching component. A traditional program can be completed full time for 1 academic year, or part time for 1.5-2 academic years.

Residency Programs – Modeled after a medical residency, a teaching residency program focuses on the “clinical experience” as opposed to coursework. This gives teaching students or “residents” hands-on experience in classrooms and the chance to implement ideas in a classroom setting, while receiving feedback and support from expert practitioners. Residents simultaneously take graduate level classes. Residency programs are less common and more selective. Residency programs usually include a master’s degree in education and are full time commitments that usually last one academic year. Residency programs offer a stipend between $17,000-$35,000 depending on the program and region.

Intern Programs – An internship program allows individuals to work in the classroom as a paid “teacher of record” while simultaneously completing a credential program. Interns are working teachers and paid a salary by the school or district. Interns need to complete credential requirements during evenings and weekends, on top of their teaching duties. This coursework takes 1-2 years to complete and interns do not have the benefit of receiving training and practice before starting. It’s also important to note that by law, schools must give hiring priority to any candidate who has a preliminary credential over an intern, so interns are usually hired later in the hiring season.

Generally, in New York, the certification candidates pursue is determined by their desired content specialty and grade range as well as education and work background. For example, if a candidate is interested in teaching Biology in high school, their certification would be in Adolescent Education Biology Grades 7-12. However, education and work background will determine which pathway a candidate follows since all NY teachers are required to have a master’s degree and to complete the necessary teacher preparation coursework in order to obtain certification.

Transitional A for Career and Technical Education (CTE) – This pathway grants industry professionals and career changers a certificate in fewer steps than other alternative pathways. However, candidates must determine which option (A-J) within this pathway aligns best with their education and work background to determine eligibility. Additionally, candidates must commit to at least three years of teaching at a NY public school while completing the necessary coursework to obtain an Initial Certificate. 

Please note that if you’re interested in teaching a STEM subject at the middle school or high school level, you must have a bachelor’s degree (or advanced degree in that subject) OR 30 credits in a STEM subject.

Initial Certificate – This standard pathway of teacher preparation provides coursework paired with one to two semesters of student teaching. This option is largely based in a university or college, and includes a student teaching component. A traditional program can be completed full time for one academic year, or part time for one and half to two academic years. It leads directly to an Initial Certificate following degree completion.

Transitional B Certificate – This alternative pathway allows candidates who did not complete a traditional teacher preparation program to teach full-time while completing graduate coursework to earn their master’s degree and meet credentialing requirements in their content speciality. It is one of the most common pathways to certification for individuals who are transitioning into the field of education. It is valid for up to three years and leads to an Initial Certificate upon completion of graduate coursework, mentored teaching, and additional certification requirements.

Please note that if you’re interested in teaching a STEM subject at the middle school or high school level, you must have a bachelor’s degree (or advanced degree in that subject) OR 30 credits in a STEM subject.

Residency Programs  – Many schools offer a teacher-in-residence program. These programs are typically designed as a gradual release where a candidate starts out as a teaching assistant under the mentorship of a lead teacher for their first year. During this time, they acquire their Transitional B Certificate while also completing graduate coursework in an alternative teacher preparation program. As time progresses, they are given more classroom responsibilities, including a lead teacher role their second year. Candidates usually receive a salary with benefits as well as scholarships and tuition reimbursement while earning their teaching credentials. Some schools offer to pay for the entirety of a candidate’s degree provided they commit to teaching at that school for a given period of time.

Transitional C for Advanced Degree Holders – This pathway is similar to the Transitional B Certificate in that it allows candidates to teach while completing an alternative teacher preparation program. However, candidates are eligible to receive a Professional Certificate upon completion of their program and three years of mentored teaching experience. This allows candidates to bypass the Initial Certificate and receive a Professional Certificate in less time. 

Internship – The Internship Certificate is aimed at first-time teachers who have completed at least 50% of an approved graduate program that leads to an Initial Certificate. Under this certificate, candidates may be paid to teach full-time.  It is good for 2 years and cannot be renewed. Additionally, it is contingent upon institution recommendation which may require candidates to obtain an offer of employment in order to apply.

Individual Evaluation Pathway – This option allows individuals who have a master’s degree to have their transcripts evaluated to determine if they are eligible to receive an Initial Certificate in their content speciality and what, if any, additional coursework they may need to complete to become certified. This application remains valid for up to 3 years or two manual evaluations depending on which comes first. Successful evaluation or completion of unmet requirements lead to an Initial Certificate. However, this process can take anywhere up to a year or longer. Until this process is completed, and the candidate receives their Initial Certification, they are ineligible to teach at a DOE school in the interim unlike with a Transitional Certificate.

EnCorps recognizes our military backgrounds and sees the potential of the discipline and integrity and everything that makes up a service member… Mission comes first, here is your mission: Your mission is to teach these kids.

– Miguel Cruz, a Los Angeles EnCorps STEM Teaching Fellow who also served admirably in the army