University of Minnesota in talks to partner with Teach for America

The University of Minnesota is currently in talks with Teach for America about a potential partnership, according to a written statement released Thursday by Jean Quam, dean of the College of Education and Human Development.

CEHD faculty members and administrators have discussed “in depth” the possibility of partnering with TFA, according to Quam’s statement.

“We expect to make a decision in the coming weeks,” the statement said.

Talks between CEHD and TFA have been in progress for several weeks. According to the statement, TFA initially approached the college because of its “expertise in teacher education.”

As part of the discussion process, CEHD faculty members and administrators have “consulted widely with educators in the community and at other universities,” the statement said.

TFA members are required to have a bachelor’s degree to be considered for a teaching position with the organization.

Once selected, Minnesota members attend a 5-week teacher training and are enrolled in a two-year program with Hamline University, which is currently the only TFA partner institution in the state. Through the program, participants earn a full teaching license while simultaneously teaching in Minnesota K-12 schools.

It is currently unclear how a partnership with the University of Minnesota would impact TFA’s partnership with Hamline.

Bill Lindquist, associate chair of Hamline’s Department of Teacher Education, declined to comment on the school’s relationship with TFA.

University spokesman Steve Henneberry said the University’s discussions with TFA are still in preliminary stages.

“It’s important to note that CEHD is considering the possibilities, advantages and complexities of offering both TFA and traditional teacher education programs,” Quam’s statement said.