Beyond the Corp: Exploring the Efficacy of Teach for America-Greater Chicago/Northwest Indiana School-Based Alumni Suite Programming
Edwards, Raymond Jr.
Within the past several years, Teach For America Greater Chicago-Northwest Indiana (TFA-GC) has adopted a strengthened desire to extend the development of alumni members who have completed their initial two-year commitment. This expanded mission has prompted Teach For America Greater Chicago/Northwest Indiana to cultivate a pipeline of programs that will support alumni members and non-alumni members to engage in professional development programs that prepare and support them in their leadership aspirations. Even in the most marginalized schools, strong principals make a positive difference in the academic outcomes of their students (Consortium on Chicago School Research, 2008). Therefore, part of TFA-GC’s strategy is to boost the career trajectory of individual members by offering them targeted programs at key moments in their career that will prepare them for success as educational leaders. This study appraises the efficacy of their school-based leadership suite programs through investigating the program participants’ perceptions of the programs’ efficacy. We examined the elements of TFA-GC’s theory of change including building leadership programs, the impacts of coaching and mentoring, and the social benefits experienced by alumni who participate. We used a mixed-methods project design that combined quantitative and qualitative approaches to data collection and analysis. Based upon our findings, we offer recommendations to TFA-GC on ways they can improve their school-based leadership suite programs.