North Central College Teach First

With support from the Dunham Fund, North Central College (NCC) has built a pipeline of bright, promising students from the greater Aurora area who wish to give back to their community by becoming teachers. These students are enrolled in NCC’s rigorous Education curriculum and receive additional mentorship and professional development opportunities through the Teach First program. Students are placed in classrooms at partner schools within the Dunham service area for job shadows, field experiences, and student teaching.


Since the 2011-12 academic year, Teach First students and Dunham Scholars have logged more than 3,500 hours of working with students and teachers in the Aurora community. Through these opportunities, the NCC students not only begin to give back to their community as pre-service teachers and gain critical training within the context of a high-need classroom, but they are building their professional network within the Aurora community.

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Teach First has seen a steady increase in recruitment numbers and currently has 15 Dunham Scholars enrolled in the program. To date, four Dunham Scholars have graduated from the NCC Education program, and three were able to secure their first teaching position at a school within the greater Aurora area.

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By December 2016, five more Dunham Scholars will be graduating and applying for positions in the Aurora school districts. Teach First is continuously working to improve strategies for recruitment, retention, and job placement so that the program can build an even greater critical mass of exceptional teachers.

Dunham Fund is proud to support the North Central College Teach First program that is cultivating exceptional teachers who wish to affect positive change in the Aurora community.

Photos: Former Dunham Scholar and Teach First student Abel Sanchez ’14 working with students in his Spanish classroom at West Aurora High School. Photos courtesy of North Central College.