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2019 Grants Challenge

EnCorps STEM Teachers: Industry Igniting Education

EnCorps helps address Los Angeles’ critical teacher shortage across STEM disciplines by recruiting, selecting, training and placing experienced STEM professionals as teachers in underserved secondary schools. EnCorps has recruited over 900 career-changing and retiring STEM professionals in California who have an average of 17 years of industry experience relating to subjects they teach; they pass their knowledge to the next generation and future workforce.


Briefly tell us a story that demonstrates how your organization turns inspiration into impact.

Inspired by her early work as a public school math teacher, former Paramount Pictures CEO Sherry Lansing launched EnCorps in 2008 to address the perpetual lack of STEM proficiency among California students, as well as the pervasive teacher shortage. The program kicked off with ten retired STEM professionals transitioning to teaching in the Bay Area, and additional staff expanded teacher recruiting and training to Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego and Sacramento.

EnCorps has recruited, selected, trained and supported 900+ STEM professionals, including computer scientists from Silicon Valley, engineers from Boeing, Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin, military veterans and medical specialists, dedicated to public service through teaching. EnCorps Fellow Will Rapp has a M.S. in Engineering Management from UCLA and served in the Army. He joined the EnCorps program in 2017 to become a teacher. Rapp served as a guest teacher for two semesters (completing 230+ hours of classroom volunteering) in an engineering classroom at Alliance Tennenbaum Family Technology High School, where he shared valuable insights from his 50 years of professional experience as an engineer. His students valued him so much that they nominated Rapp as Staff Member of the Month (and he was not employed by the school!). This experience helped prepare Rapp for full-time teaching. EnCorps guided Rapp to pursue a CTE credential from Orange County Department of Education. He is now a full-time teacher at West Adams College Preparatory High School in Los Angeles USD. Rapp was honored as EnCorps’ 2018 Los Angeles Fellow of the Year and was recognized as an outstanding LA Volunteer by The Carl & Roberta Deutsch Foundation.

EnCorps Fellow Julian Lewis, former Lockheed Martin aerospace engineer of 34 years, initiated the engineering career pathway at STEM Academy of Hollywood. EnCorps Fellow LaTeira Haynes, former immunologist with a PhD in biomedical sciences, is now a science teacher at Dymally High and leads her school’s STEAM Academy, preparing students for science careers. Haynes was named LAUSD's Rookie of the Year (2016) and selected as a finalist for the Educator of the Year Award by the California League of High Schools (2017).

Which of the LEARN metrics will your submission impact?​​

Students’ immersion in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math content

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?​

Central LA

East LA

San Gabriel Valley

San Fernando Valley

South LA


How will your project make LA the best place to LEARN?

Unqualified teachers (i.e. on emergency credentials) are three times as likely to teach in California’s high-minority schools and twice as likely to teach in high-poverty schools, exacerbating opportunity, achievement and skills gaps. EnCorps believes ALL students should be taught by qualified, credentialed teachers who can prepare them for post-secondary education and careers in the 21st century. EnCorps partners with high-poverty and high-minority public schools to place STEM experts as guest teachers and full-time credentialed STEM instructors. We serve low-income students and children of color ages 11-18.

EnCorps is the only nonprofit recruiting an untapped pool of career-changing and retiring professionals in STEM into new careers in public education. In FY2020, EnCorps will recruit, develop and sustain a pool of 50 STEM professionals transitioning to teaching to make Los Angeles the best place to learn. The 50 EnCorps Fellows will be placed for pre-credential volunteering (guest teaching), impacting 2,600 middle and high school students in a math, science, or career-technical education classroom, and begin a teacher credential program. As full-time, credentialed instructors, the 50 Fellows will impact 6,250 students annually.

The EnCorps STEM Teachers Fellowship in Los Angeles provides participants with:

*Transition to Teaching Guidance

- Individual and Cohort Mentoring with Program Directors who are Former Teachers

*Educator Handbooks, Resource Kits and State Test Materials

*Professional Development (50+ hours annually):

- Webinars

- One-on-One Instructional Coaching

- Training Institutes (Fall, Spring and Summer Residential Institute)

- Online Resources and Workshops via Google Classroom

*Assistance with Selecting Teacher Credentialing Programs

*School Placements

- Tier 1: Guest Teaching

- Tier 2: Curriculum-Based Teaching

*Access to a Network of Districts for Job Opportunities

Program Timeline:

July - November 2019

- Los Angeles Fellows are recruited/selected

- Program orientation and Fall/Spring Institute

January - May 2020

- Fellows participate in a semester of pre-credential guest teaching with a mentor teacher and complete EnCorps’ online trainings

- Fellows complete local County Department of Education credential if pursuing CTE teaching

- Fellows apply to Alliant University (or other) credential program if pursuing single subject math/science teaching

May - June 2020

- Single subject credential program begins

- CTE teacher candidates are certified and may apply for jobs for Fall 2020 teaching roles

- Fellows attend Summer Residential Institute training

In Fall 2020, CTE teachers will begin new teaching roles and credential participants will begin Intern (paid) teaching roles while completing their single subject credential. We will continue to provide teachers with professional development opportunities to support their growth as an educator.

In what stage of innovation is this project?​

Expand existing program (expanding and continuing ongoing successful projects)

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.​

EnCorps will develop and sustain a pool of 50 STEM professionals who are in the pipeline to transition to teaching in Los Angeles during FY2020. Candidates are selected based upon rubrics measuring competencies for successful teaching in underserved urban schools, including achievement in STEM fields, resilience and grit, personal responsibility for student achievement, growth mindset, and cultural awareness and sensitivity.

Output 1: The 50 selected Fellows will be placed for pre-credential volunteering (guest teaching), impacting a total of 2,600 middle and high school students in a math, science, or career-technical education classroom.

Output verification: Program Directors will manage Fellows’ placements at our vetted partner schools in Los Angeles. The number of students impacted by Fellows during pre-credential volunteering will be recorded by participating host teachers and EnCorps Fellows. Students and host teachers will be surveyed at the end of each semester regarding the impact of having a Fellow guest teach and volunteer in their classroom; we track outcomes such as % of students whose grades improved; % of students who are more interested in pursuing a degree or career in a STEM field, and % of students who understand better why science, technology, engineering and math matter in their life.

Output 2: EnCorps will create and deliver over 50 hours of in-person and online professional development for Fellows during the program year. Professional development topics include strategies designed to engage students, classroom management, project-based learning in STEM, as well as Common Core and NGSS to build teaching skills.

Output verification: We will provide Fall Institute, Spring Institute, Summer Residential Institute, Professional Learning Circles, and extensive online resources and trainings available via Google Classroom. We will track Fellows’ participation in professional development through event registration, taking attendance, and monitoring Google Classroom assignments and activities. Participation is logged in Salesforce and documented in Google Classroom.

Output 3: At the end of the grant period, Fellows will be eligible to begin CTE teaching or intern math or science teaching while completing their single subject credential.

Output verification: We will monitor Fellow’s credential completion and teaching placements, which is tracked in Salesforce, while continuing to provide professional development opportunities to support their growth as an educator.

EnCorps is committed to continuous review and improvement. Executive and program staff review program implementation quarterly to assess status against Key Performance Indicators, and at the end of the program year to help plan for the upcoming year. These data points are critical when revising and evaluating EnCorps’ recruitment strategies, levels of support for participants during pre-credential volunteering, and relevance of professional development as preparation for full-time teaching.

EnCorps’ program directors collect quantitative and qualitative data to measure program success, tracked in Salesforce. Currently, quantitative data includes records of participation of EnCorps Fellows in the classroom; attendance and participation of Fellows in each phase of teaching preparation; and the number of Fellows who transition into teaching positions. Qualitative data including surveys and interviews regarding the efficacy of Fellows in the classroom, are conducted at the end of each academic semester with students, principals, and district and charter management organization staff.

EnCorps’ Director of Development, Grace Howard, will provide Quarterly and Annual updates regarding program outcomes. Also, in FY2020, with school partners we aim to compile and compare the outcomes of students in EnCorps teacher classrooms. The measurement that we will use will be the comparison of standardized test scores of students in EnCorps math and science classrooms v. school averages v. California state averages.