Do you believe what you are doing in the service of you country is of value? Are you proud of your service? Do you want to continue to contribute? Do you still want to be of service to your country? Then you should consider teaching as a career. Teaching will provide you with a sense of service by doing work that is of great value to your country.
Teaching is about organization; teaching is about leadership; teaching is about taking care of those for whom you are responsible; teaching is being a part of young people's lives by providing them skills they will need to have to be successful and become leaders in the years to come. Teaching is about your legacy for the next generation to look to and follow.
Troops to Teachers is a program that assists and guides transitioning service members to begin new careers as academic or career technical public school teachers. The program offers two types of participation -- unfunded and funded. All participants receive counseling on how to become certified as teachers and receive referral assistance. Participants agreeing to teach in "high-need" schools can also receive a combination of a stipend (to assist with tuition and other costs towards earning your teacher license) and a bonus.
Counseling and assistance
A Troops to Teachers counselor is assigned to every state to help participants navigate the transition from military service to a career in education. You can begin to receive assistance even before you leave the military. Counseling and assistance services include
- guidance on teacher certification processes, academic or career technical in your state of choice
- information on the different pathways to state certification
- leads on employment opportunities
- information on financial assistance
Service members are eligible for counseling and assistance if they have a college degree from a regionally accredited institution or, to teach vocational skills, one year of college, as well as technical proficiency through six years of work experience in a technical job at the time of registration. A transcript from the Community College of the Air Force, the Army Training Requirements and Resources System, or from Sailor/Marine American Council on Education Registry Transcript may be used to substantiate this. Participants must also have been honorably discharged or, if still serving, the last period of service must be characterized as honorable. In addition, participants must be an active duty or Selected Reserve service member who meets one of the following criteria:
- currently serving with six or more years of service toward retirement
- separated with six or more years of service since October 1,1990
- separated with a Service-determined physical disability on or after January 8, 2002, and registered with Troops to Teachers within four years after separation (not a Department of Veterans Affairs determined disability)
Financial assistance is available to eligible participants who agree to teach in public school in a high-needs school district for at least three years. The assistance includes up to $5,000 in stipends to help reimburse the costs associated with becoming a certified teacher, including coursework and other certification requirements. Financial assistance can also include a $10,000 bonus to teach in a high-needs public school that serves a high percentage of underprivileged students.
Eligibility requirements for financial assistance are different from non-funded counseling and referral services. Recipients must meet one of the following criteria:
- on active duty within one year of retirement
- separated after January 8, 2002, for a Service-determined physical disability and registered within four years of separation
- in the Selected Reserve with ten or more years of service and a commitment to serve three more years or until retirement
- transitioning from active duty with at least six years on active duty immediately before separation, and committed to three years with a Selected Reserve unit
- retired from active duty or the Selected Reserve
You can find information about Troops to Teachers, determine your eligibility, and register for the program by visiting the Troops to Teachers website, where you'll also find
- a mentor connection, which allows participants to contact volunteer mentors who have already transitioned from the military to a teaching career
- details on financial assistance, including definitions of high-needs schools
State Troops to Teachers coordinators (contacts are listed on the website) and your installation education office can also provide more information on registering for Troops to Teachers.