St. Francis College and NYC Department Of Education Open First and Only Troops to Teachers Office in New York State

Leah Schmerl

St. Francis College now houses the first Troops to Teachers office in New York State, thanks to a collaboration between the College and the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE).

Troops to Teachers (TTT) is a nationwide program designed to help transitioning service members and veterans begin new careers as certified K-12 school teachers.

St. Francis College (SFC) opened its TTT Resource Lounge on September 4th. The office, located at SFC's campus at 180 Remsen Street, Brooklyn, provides counseling and referral services for TTT participants to help them meet education and licensing requirements to qualify for teaching jobs.

NYCDOE and SFC jointly applied for and were awarded a Department of Defense grant to launch TTT in New York State. Twenty states currently have TTT offices, with no more than one designated office in any state.

NYCDOE administers New York State Troops to Teachers -- with SFC as the higher education partner institution -- with the primary goal of helping TTT participants find jobs in New York City's public schools. The participants may also secure employment in other NY K-12 schools, charter schools or Indian Affairs schools. SFC focuses on connecting participants with appropriate educational programs and support services to earn credentials for teaching careers.

"St. Francis College is deeply committed to serving the military community, and we're thrilled to collaborate with the Department of Education and provide a home for New York's first and only Troops to Teachers office," said Dr. Gale Gibson Gayle, SFC Assistant Vice President of Online Learning, Post-Traditional Students and Program Development with oversight for SFC TTT program.

"We want the veteran community at St. Francis and across the state to know that we're here to help them embark on teaching careers. We're proud to be an ally to all those who have served our country, and who want to continue serving in the classroom" said Luis Echevarria, NYCDOE Office of Scholarships, Incentives and Speech Programs.

All current and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces may apply to participate in TTT. Those who meet certain education, military service and application requirements may be eligible for TTT financial assistance of up to $10,000, GI Bill, NYCDOE and SFC scholarships.

TTT was established in 1993 and since then, more than 21,000 veterans have successfully transitioned to a career in education. The program, which is funded and overseen by the Department of Defense, aims to reduce unemployment among veterans and address the teacher shortage in K-12 schools.

The TTT Resource Lounge at SFC officially opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at noon on September 4th. Leaders from SFC and NYCDOE made remarks and visitors toured the new space. SFC also unveiled new murals on the walls outside and inside the Lounge

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