Teaching Here

Why Choose Southwest Ohio?

A young African American woman with long dark hair, smiling and wearing a coral blouse and white cardigan sweater.
Elaysha Wright (Southwest Ohio '14)

I love teaching in SWO because it gives me a chance to mentor in a place I call home.

A young white female with long light blonde hair smiling and wearing a white blouse.
Marissa Masters (Southwest Ohio '15)

I love getting to know multiple communities across two states, Kentucky and Ohio, where my students and their families engage.

A young African American female with long dark hair and glasses smiling, wearing a dark sweater.
Moxie John (Southwest Ohio '14)

Cincinnati is the location of 2001 civil unrest that mirrors the issues rocking our nation today. I am so grateful to be in this historically rich and diverse area, to work side by side with people who are passionate about equity in our nation–starting in SWO.

What You Need to Know


Salaries range from $30,000 - $41,000.




Optional program with the University of Cincinnati or Johns Hopkins University.


See below

Becoming Certified to Teach

  • Overview
  • GPA Requirements
  • Master’s Degree Options

Southwest Ohio corps members receive either of the following licenses:

  • Four-year Resident Educator License in Ohio
  • Three-year provisional license in Kentucky

The license that you receive is dependent on which state you get hired. 

In order to qualify for the Ohio Resident Educator License, all corps members are required to:

  • Pass the Ohio Assessment for Educators subject area exams that match their subject assignment from TFA prior to their first day of teaching
  • Provide two copies of their degree-conferred transcript from an accredited college or university
  • Pay a $160 fee to the Ohio Department of Education for each subject area certification applied for
  • Pass a FBI and state background check
  • Complete Teach For America Institute Training

In order to qualify for the Kentucky provisional license, all corps members are required to:

  • Pass the Praxis II subject area exams that match their subject assignment from TFA prior to their first day of teaching
  • Provide two copies of their degree-conferred transcript from an accredited college or university
  • Pass a FBI and state background check
  • Complete Teach For America Institute Training


My overall GPA is below a 2.5. Can I still be certified?

Unfortunately, no.

In Ohio, you must have a minimum of a cumulative 2.5 undergraduate GPA to receive your resident educator license to teach.

In Kentucky, you must have above a 2.8 cumulative undergraduate GPA to get your provisional certification. 

University of Cincinnati Teacher’s College

Teach For America is partnering locally with the University of Cincinnati Teacher’s College for an optional Master’s program in the following disciples:

  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Educational Leadership
  • Literacy & Second Language Studies
  • Special Education.

Corps members and alumni of Southwest Ohio receive approximately a 25% tuition discount and can complete the program in two years. Average total cost of tuition is $13,800 with the 25% discount. You can apply AmeriCorps education grants to federal loans that you incur during the program.

Johns Hopkins University (Online)

We also partner virtually with Johns Hopkins University to provide Corps Members and alumni the opportunity to obtain a Master’s of Science in Teaching. Cost is roughly $23,000 total over the course of the two years, and you can apply Americorps education grants to the cost. Learn more about the Johns Hopkins program.

Is it possible to complete a master's degree at the end of the two years?

Yes! The following programs can be completed in two years:

  • Johns Hopkins Masters of Science in Teaching
  • University of Cincinnati programs in Curriculum & Instruction, Special Education, and Literacy & Second Language Studies.

The Educational Leadership track at the University of Cincinnati is two years, but you must be a second year teacher to enroll. 

Placement School Locations

Subjects And Grade Levels

  • Pre-Kindergarten
  • Elementary
  • Special Education
  • English as a Second Language
  • Math (4-12)
  • English Language Arts (4-12)
  • Social Studies (4-12)
  • Science (4-12)
  • Biology (9-12)
  • Algebra I & II (9-12)
  • Geometry (9-12)

Our District Partners


We are so appreciative of our 26 school partners for the 2016-2017 school year.

Approximately 70 percent of SWO corps members are placed in public district schools (Cincinnati Public, Covington ISD, Dayton Public, Mad River Local).

Twenty-five percent are placed in public charters, and 4 percent in head-start centers in a wide range of subjects from grades pre-K through 12th grade.

  • Cincinnati-Hamilton County Community Action Agency
  • CPS – Aiken New Tech High School
  • CPS – Academy of Multilingual Immersion Studies
  • CPS – Academy of World Languages
  • CPS – Carson Elementary
  • CPS – Roberts Academy
  • CPS – Taft Elementary
  • CPS – Westwood Elementary
  • CPS – Withrow High School
  • CPS – Woodward Career Tech High School
  • Covington ISD – Holmes High School
  • Covington ISD – Holmes Middle School
  • Covington ISD – Transformational Learning Center
  • Covington ISD – 9th District Elementary
  • Dayton Leadership Academies
  • DPS – Belmont High School
  • DPS – E.J. Brown Middle School
  • DPS – Fairview Elementary
  • DPS – Meadowdale 7-12
  • DPS – Thurgood Marshall STEM High School
  • Hamilton County Math and Science Academy
  • Lighthouse Community School
  • Mad River Local School District
  • Miami Valley Child Development Centers – Rosa Parks
  • North Dayton School of Discovery
  • Phoenix Community Learning Center

Get To Know Our Region

  • Get to Know Cincinnati
  • Get to Know Dayton
  • Get to Know Northern Kentucky

Situated on the Ohio River, Greater Cincinnati is home to over one million people. It also is the home to many diverse neighborhoods, beautiful parks, world class museums, and two professional sports teams- the Bengals and the Reds.

While Cincinnati proudly boasts the highest rated urban public school district in the state providing incredible opportunities to some of its students, there is still much work to be done. For example, when we think of how schools prepare students for different pathways of college and career success, we know that advanced placement and ACT prep can play a large role. Currently only 23% of CPS students participate in AP classes and less than a third receive an exam score of 3 or higher, which is required at most universities. In response, we are working with the district to identify highly effective corps members and alumni to teach these much needed AP classes.

Additionally, concerned about reports that Ohio and Kentucky were lagging behind other states in college enrollment rates, a group of leaders including early childhood educators, school superintendents, college presidents, business and nonprofit leaders, and community funders came together in 2006 to form The Strive Partnership. This diverse group was conceived with the shared goal of ensuring success for every child in the urban core of the region—Cincinnati, Ohio and Covington and Newport, Kentucky—from “cradle to career.”


Located one hour north to the north of Cincinnati, Dayton is the fourth largest metropolitan area in Ohio and is known across the country as the “birthplace of aviation,” since it was the childhood home of the Wright brothers. It also continues its aviation legacy as the current home to the National Air and Space Intelligence Center, the Air Force Research Laboratory, and nearby Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Dayton Public Schools (DPS), our largest partner in the area, serves nearly 14,000 students in preschool through high school, with nearly 100% identifying as economically disadvantaged. In 2013, only 60% of third graders in DPS scored proficient on the state reading test, highlighting the need for academic improvement, and fewer than 60% of high schoolers graduate within four years. The district has responded by creating a strategic plan with high-quality education as the number one goal, and Teach For America corps members and alumni are joining the district in these efforts. While the work ahead is going to require incredible dedication and focus, we are confident that together with like-minded teachers, parents, district and community leaders, all children can be afforded the educational opportunities they deserve in Dayton.



Directly across the Ohio River from Cincinnati lie the cities of Covington and Newport, Kentucky, where around fifteen percent of our corps teach. Rich in German history, Covington is home to Mainstrasse, a walkable center of restaurants and shops that have been around since the late 1800s. It hosts the annual Oktoberfest in German tradition, which is a corps favorite.

Covington Independent School district educates nearly 4,000 students in preschool through 12th grade. Both Covington and Newport are relatively small public districts which provide a unique tight knit community between teachers, parents, and students. Currently, Covington is working to address the ever-changing needs of its students. In 2012, only 19% of middle school students at scored proficient or higher on the state exam, compared to a state-wide rate of 40%. These achievement results prompted the district to create a strategic plan to ensure and enhance student-centered learning, foster and sustain positive and productive culture and strengthen schools as community learning centers to serve students, family and neighborhood needs. Teach For America is proud to be working toward these goals alongside our partners in Northern Kentucky.

Regional Expenses

Monthly Salary

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What's Left Over
Ongoing Certification Costs
You may be able to offset ongoing certification costs with an AmeriCorps education award. Learn more.
One Time Summer Start Up Costs
Estimated Start Up and Certification Costs