What is the Teacher Opportunity Corps?
It’s simple arithmetic really: The more diverse the teaching profession is in New York State the better the education experience will be for all students here.

Yet, the reality is, the math still doesn’t jibe.

While 56 percent of New York’s public-school enrollment is made of students of color, the state’s teaching ranks remain 80 percent white. Troubling, yes. But there’s also hope.

The state’s Teacher Opportunity Corps (TOC) program — now offered at 17 public and private colleges throughout New York — is working to close this lopsided color gap by offering crucial support to aspiring teachers from historically underrepresented communities.

 The TOC offers:

  • Tuition assistance.
  • Stipends to help cover the cost of books and transportation.
  • Academic services, including hep in preparing for certification exams.
  • Emotional support services, including weekly check-ins for students with advisors.
  • Financial assistance to help cover costs for certification exams and fingerprinting.
  • Professional networking opportunities.

The state program is also playing an important role in addressing the national teaching shortage. NYSUT has been a leader in working to stem that shortage and Jolene DiBrango, the union’s executive vice president, said TOC was “essential” in enabling the state to recruit and retain a more diverse teaching pool.


© 2021 New York State United Teachers