We’re excited to share some exciting results from a successful 2024 Teaching Fellow recruitment season, which underscore our commitment to strengthening the teacher pipeline. This year, we saw remarkable growth and diversity with a total of 1,773  submitted applications, an impressive 41% increase over last year! 

Each year, Breakthrough recruits over 260 schools across the country, and we’re especially proud of our growing partnership with the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) network, specifically Howard University, where we’ve seen more than 70 applicants over the past five years. Howard was one of 19 colleges (including six HBCUs) that our Director of Recruitment,  Jonathan Appleby, visited this recruitment season. “Howard has long had a strong pipeline of candidates for our fellowship and we’re excited to continue to strengthen and formalize that partnership to further support our younger students and cultivate aspiring educators,” said Appleby. 

Highlights from our 2024 Teaching Fellow recruitment season:

  • 70% of applicants identify as people of color
  • 23% of applicants have taught with Breakthrough before
  • 13% of applicants are former students
  • 27% of applicants are STEM majors
  • 44% of applicants are first-generation college students

Key to student success is the student-teacher relationship, and more specifically, for students of color, the power of having a teacher from a similar background as a mentor or instructional lead. Yet just 20% of public school teachers in America are people of color, while over 50% of students are children of color. 

Addressing this diversity gap requires a multi-prong approach that includes exposing more students of color to careers in education, and providing resources and support to navigate a successful path to the classroom. Breakthrough is doing just that in partnership with incredible partners like the HBCU Network, and quality programs to help our Teaching Fellows build upon their Breakthrough experience and develop their careers in education.