Teaching Here

Why Choose Rhode Island?

A headshot of a young woman with long dark hear wearing a coral blouse and standing outside with trees in the background.
Working at an intentionally diverse school has been a transformative experience. My students have pushed me to think more critically, work harder, and enjoy the little things. -Amanda Joy Febles (Rhode Island’14)
There is a sizable group of young professionals committed to making Rhode Island a better place to live and work. This network is a truly great group of people. -Adam Greenman (New Jersey ‘04), Director of Community Investment, United Way of Rhode Island
The Ocean State lives up to its name! I love Rhode Island for the fact you can hop in your car with your friends and be playing Frisbee on the beach within a matter of minutes. -Sara Mickelson (Houston ‘09), Rhode Island Department of Education

What You Need to Know


Salaries range from $40,000 to $42,000




Brown University, Rhode Island College, Providence College (Optional two-year program starting in the second year of teaching)


One year

Becoming Certified to Teach

  • Certification Overview
  • Certification Costs
  • Testing Requirements
  • Master's Degree Options

Rhode Island corps members will receive their certification through a partnership with Rhode Island College. Please see additional information below.

Alternative Route Preliminary Certificate

Corps Members who successfully complete the summer Institute and secure a teaching position will be granted an Alternate Route Preliminary Certificate (ARPC) by the Rhode Island Department of Education. This one-year certificate was created to allow outstanding individuals the opportunity to teach while participating in an alternate route certification program. Individuals with this certificate are considered “highly qualified” in accordance with No Child Left Behind guidelines. Upon completion of year-round coursework during your first year of teaching, additional testing and other program requirements, you will receive the full teacher certification in June of the following year.

Certification Coursework Through Rhode Island College

The partnership with Rhode Island College (RIC) was developed with input from 2010 and 2011 corps members and is taught by professors from RIC. During the year, corps members take four or five courses that lead to initial certification as either an Elementary teacher for grades 1-6 or a Secondary teacher for grades 7-12 in a specific content area (Math or Biology, for example).

Secondary corps members may also be certified in special education if they are hired into a special education role.

If you are assigned to a middle school or ESL placement you will apply for an emergency permit and have to take additional coursework during the summer after your first year through a local university.

Certification classes meet weekly and cover the following topics: curriculum and assessment, teaching literacy across the curricula, education for all students, and integrating theory and methods.

If you are assigned to a middle school or ESL placement you may have to take additional course work during the summer after your first year through a local university.

Rhode Island Department of Education

Once a year the Rhode Island Department of Education publishes an index on teacher preparation programs. For the latest, please see here.

Certification Costs

It is each corps member’s responsibility to meet certification program requirements and to pay tuition rates in full. For certification coursework (during the first year of the program), the cost per credit will be the standard published rate of $358/credit for in-state and $390/credit for out of state participants.

Elementary teachers will take 12 credits of coursework. Secondary teachers will take 15 credits of coursework.

Financial Aid

In order to pay for certification coursework, corps members may use the AmeriCorps education award for tuition at Rhode Island College if they are eligible to receive this award after each year of service. They can take out a loan from RIC at the beginning of the coursework to cover the cost of tuition and then apply their AmeriCorps award at the end of their first year of teaching, assuming they meet all requirements to receive this award.

In order to meet the requirements to be able to teach in Rhode Island, all teachers must take and pass one or more exams depending on your teaching assignment. We will follow up with you after you confirm your offer to ensure that you are able to register for the appropriate Praxis II exam(s).

Taking and passing this/these test/s is required in order to be hired by and teach in our partner school districts. If you do not take and pass the required test/s, you may not be able to be placed in a Rhode Island classroom and may need to request a deferral to join the next corps year. While we will recommend resources for you to use in order to prepare for your test and to assist you in the registration process, it is ultimately your responsibility to take and pass all of your exams.

Tips for Success

We strongly urge you to take the earliest possible exam and to begin preparing now. We have found that when corps members have planned ahead and prepared adequately, they have been able to pass these exams. In 2014, 98 percent (34 out of 35) Rhode Island corps members passed their exams. In previous years, 100% of corps members have passed. If you have concerns about passing your exams, please contact us.


There are three options available for obtaining a Master’s Degree in Rhode Island.

Brown University

Offers a part-time, two-year program for corps members to obtain a Masters in Urban Education Policy (UEP). This program starts between year one and year two of teaching and many corps members choose to continue teaching for a third year as they finish the UEP program. The program admits a number of corps members each year and offers several benefits, including 25% discounted tuition, a reduced course load, and the potential for additional partial or full scholarships. Learn more.

Providence College

Offers a Masters in Urban Teaching that begins in the summer prior to your second year of teaching and can be completed in one to two years. Learn more

Rhode Island College

Offers an individualized Masters in Education that can be tailored toward a Corps Member’s specific interests. Several corps members pursue this option each year as all of their coursework from their certification classes is included in this degree. Thus, they are able to finish this degree by the end of their two year commitment. Learn more.

Placement School Locations

Subjects And Grade Levels

  • Elementary (Grades 1-6)
  • Elementary ESL
  • Secondary Math
  • Secondary English
  • Secondary Chemistry
  • Secondary Physics
  • Secondary Special Education
  • Secondary ESL

Get to Know Rhode Island's Schools


The Providence Public School District (PPSD) is at the heart of the effort to close the opportunity gap in Rhode Island as the largest urban district in Rhode Island. In Providence, 80 percent of the students are considered low-income, over 83 percent are Hispanic or African-American, and only 71 percent of students graduate from high school. Of the 38 schools in PPSD, 29 have been identified for intervention, meaning they are not making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) and the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) has stepped in to work with the districts and schools to implement plans to improve achievement.

More than anything else, the opportunity gap highlights an ever-increasing skills gap for low-income students. Especially in a time of economic downturn, our students are basically shut out of high-paying jobs because they cannot compete with their higher income peers. We have one of the highest unemployment levels in the nation however; this is not for lack of jobs. There are many corporations hiring, but sadly not enough qualified applicants. This is not surprising when you factor in the fact that only 14 percent of 11th graders scored proficient in math in 2015 in Providence.

Rhode Island is proud of its diversity, with our fastest growing populations in the state being Latino/Hispanic and Southeast Asian. In Rhode Island's four core cities, 18 percent of students are English Language Learners (ELL) and 19 percent of students receive special education services.

Many corps members teach in traditional public or charter schools that serve students from Central Falls, Cumberland, Lincoln, Providence, Pawtucket, Warwick, or Woonsocket, all of which are facing educational challenges.

Closing the opportunity gap in Rhode Island will be no easy task, but we are committed to working with teachers, schools, and communities to ensure that all Rhode Islanders will have a great education.

Learn More

Living in Rhode Island

  • What Makes Rhode Island Great?
  • Housing and Cost of Living
  • Where Our Corps Members Live
  • Where to Get Great Food
  • Fun Things to Do
  • Outdoor Adventure

What Rhode Island lacks in size, it makes up for in charm, history, and pride. Home to a number of music festivals, including the Newport Folk and Jazz festivals each summer, we also have a vibrant artist and performing arts community. Not to mention, little Rhody is also home to Providence, one of the best food cities in the country.

After you’ve had your fill of music and delicious food, you may choose to take a walking tour of Benefit Street and the East Side of Providence to be transported back to the 18th century, ghosts included. The Ocean State boasts 400 miles of coastline with more than 100 public and private beaches. Residents enjoy the outdoors by biking, hiking, and visiting our many dog-friendly parks.

In August of 2013, Rhode Island became the 11th marriage equality state in the nation, something we’re incredibly proud of. 

One of the best things about Rhode Island is that it is made up of many different neighborhoods and each one has its own character—we are confident that you will find a home that meets your highest priorities for livability, whether that be location, inexpensive rent, gorgeous views, easy access to restaurants and entertainment, or something else entirely different.

Housing options can vary from apartment complexes to townhomes and duplexes that are available for rent. With a diverse population across the state, it is no surprise that Rhode Island has a variety of housing options for young professionals around town. 
Rhode Island corps members can expect to take advantage of the reasonable cost of living in the state.

A teacher making $40,000 in Providence would need to make approximately $72,500 in Manhattan and $45,000 in Boston for commensurate living.


College Hill 

Historic architecture meets college atmosphere 

Whether you choose to graze Benefit Street or head up Thayer, you will find great things on College Hill. Home to Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design, many corps members choose to live in this area or nearby for its close proximity to downtown Providence, great access to nightlife, beautiful architecture, and array of restaurants. 

Mount Hope/Summit 

Northwest Providence, close to shops and Blackstone Boulevard 

The Mount Hope/Summit neighborhood is one of Providence’s most charming areas. It’s family and dog-friendly atmosphere, eclectic mix of dining opportunities, and beautiful homes often attract corps members who are looking for a centrally-located neighborhood that’s a little quieter than College Hill. Home to Blackstone Boulevard, a 3-mile running path that often hosts music festivals and a weekly farmers market, this neighborhood has a little bit of everything to offer. 


Lovely, older homes within walking distance of cafes 

Located on the East Side of Providence, Wayland Square is a popular destination for many corps members because a simple stroll can take you from your front door to popular cafes, book stores, and restaurants. Also located on Blackstone Boulevard, the Wayland neighborhood offers running paths and access to the East Bay Bike Path. This neighborhood is a tad more expensive than other parts of the East Side but very affordable when living with roommates.

West End 

An eclectic, hipster haven 

One of the most diverse neighborhoods in Providence, the West End boasts historic architecture, as well as the West End Community Center and Armory District Park. Home to funky shops and great restaurants, this part of Providence has developed one of the most tight-knit communities within the city limits. The West Broadway Neighborhood Association is one of Providence’s strongest! 

Smith Hill 

Home to the State House and close to downtown 

Smith Hill is in the northern part of Providence with easy access to delectable dining on Federal Hill and shopping at the Providence Place Mall. Historically a predominantly Irish neighborhood, Smith Hill is probably best known for their St. Patrick’s Parade. One of Rhode Island’s most iconic ice cream shops is also at home on Smith Hill, the Newport Creamery. This neighborhood has access to an abundance of local favorites and has been experiencing a strong revival this past year. 


A former mill village with artistic flare 

Located just north of Providence, Pawtucket is home to a growing art scene and many historic mills that have been converted to apartments and businesses. Of particular interest is the Hope Artiste Village, home to a winter farmers market. In 2010, MONEY Magazine named Pawtucket as one of the best small cities to live in.


Harry’s Burger Bar

The name says it all…

If you’re looking for burgers and a beer after work, Harry’s is your go-to (and ours). The Brown Daily Herald recognized Harry’s as the Best Burger in Providence and Zagat rated Harry’s the Number 1 Burger in Rhode Island. Harry’s specialty is sliders on potato rolls and they offer a menu of over 50 beer options.

Nick’s on Broadway

Contemporary American cuisine, brunch-lover’s haven

Brunch at Nick’s is always worth the wait! This farm-to-table restaurant offers some of the best breakfast food in Rhode Island, plus extraordinary lunches and dinners. Located in Providence’s trendy West End neighborhood, this unassuming luncheonette not only offers great food, but delicious craft cocktails.

Garden Grille

Hidden gem with top-notch vegan and vegetarian plates

The Garden Grille puts the main emphasis of a meal on the vegetables. Their diverse menu can be summed up by the words organic, local, fresh, and delicious! Much of their menu changes seasonally, showcasing Rhode Island’s local produce. Located in Pawtucket, just over the Providence border, the Garden Grille is part of a network of vegetarian and vegan restaurants and bakeries in Rhode Island, including The Grange and Wildflour Café.


Trendy Japanese sushi restaurant

NAMI offers a contemporary twist on traditional Japanese cuisine, serving sushi and kitchen entrees with modern New American influences. The trendy décor and happy hour deals make NAMI a great place for after work drinks or a perfect destination for an evening out. Conveniently located on Federal Hill, near the TFA Rhode Island office, we particularly love the lunch specials at NAMI.

Al Forno

Nationally recognized Italian fare

If you’re looking for the best meal of your life, Al Forno is your place. Using local ingredients, Al Forno takes Italian food to another level. Featured on the Food Network and in Food & Wine Magazine, the grilled pizza is recognized as one of the best pizzas in the country. It is definitely on the pricier side, but to most, it’s well worth it.

Three Sisters

Unique, neighborhood café

Three Sisters offers a full breakfast and lunch menu, with many espresso, coffee, pastry, and homemade ice cream options. This café is a corps member favorite! Located on the East Side of Providence, Three Sisters offers a little bit of everything. Three Sisters is a great place to meet up and lesson plan while grabbing a delicious egg wrap or a late night ice cream.


AS220 Galleries

AS220 is an artist-run organization committed to providing an unjuried and uncensored forum for the arts. Head into Down City to enjoy original creative work in AS220’s galleries where every resident of Rhode Island has the ability to showcase their work. In the course of a year, over 150 artists have participated in the monthly exhibits at AS220′s rotating galleries. 


Whether you’re looking for live music, great food, art, people watching, or entertainment, WaterFire is the place to be. Occurring throughout spring, summer, and fall, this event brings together people from all over the state to laugh, enjoy and honor those who make Rhode Island a better place. This is a quintessential festival in Rhode Island and an event not to be missed! 


PechaKucha is an informal gathering the last Wednesday of each month where folks share their ideas and things they are passionate about in a 20x20 format (20 slides/20 slides per second). This is a fun event to attend and participate in, as well as an opportunity to meet new people, learn new things, and hang out with friends.


East Bay Bike Path 

The East Bay Bike path is a ribbon of asphalt that provides a safe place for unobstructed cycling. Users can enjoy the sights, sounds and smells as the path takes them by coves and marshes, over bridges, and through State Parks. Stretching from Providence to Bristol along the abandoned railroad line, for the greater part of its length, it passes along or near the shore of Narragansett Bay. 

Block Island 

Take the ferry to Block Island for an exciting day trip or weekend getaway! The Island offers miles of beachfront, as well as The Greenway, a network of trails that wind for more than 30 miles. You may choose to tour Block Island on foot or rent a bike, car, or moped. Block Island offers something for everyone; you can kayak, paddleboard, parasail, play tennis, or browse through the boutiques and galleries.

Fun Fact: During early settlement, the famous Captain Kidd was rumored to have buried treasure on Block Island! At one point Rhode Island harbored so many pirates it became known as “Rogue’s Island.”


Alumni Spotlights

Rhode Island 2013
Education Policy Fellow at Office of Governor Gina M. Raimondo
Love your students, love their parents, love your colleagues and the people you meet during your time here. Love because our kids, our community, and our world deserve it. If you choose love, I can promise you that it will be re-granted in infinite returns.
Rhode Island 2014
Impact Manager, City Year Providence
Originally, I planned on going to law school after I completed my "City Year," but my experience inspired me to become a classroom teacher. I chose TFA because it allowed me to jump right into the classroom and utilize the experience I gained from being a City Year corps member.

Creating Community Connections


Teach For America - Rhode Island is one of many organizations working to make an impact on children throughout our community. Rhode Island has rich collection of resources can be used to strengthen the social and economic fabric of the entire community. Below are just a few of the many resources available within our community.

  • Rhode Island Kid’s Count
  • Young Voices
  • Progreso Latino

The mission of Rhode Island KIDS COUNT is to improve the health, safety, education, economic well-being, and development of Rhode Island's children.

Rhode Island KIDS COUNT serves the community in the following ways:

  • Provides independent, credible, comprehensive information on Rhode Island's children.
  • Uses that information to change or influence public policies and programs to improve children's lives.
  • Provides information and strategies on "what works" and promotes best practices that will turn the curve on indicators of child well-being.
  • Holds systems accountable and indicates where changes should be made to improve programs that don't work.
  • Stimulates dialogue on children's issues and brings together individuals and organizations to develop strategies and solutions to improve children's lives.
  • Engages in information-based advocacy to affect public policies and programs for the improvement of children's lives.


Young Voices is a state wide organization that empowers youth to become confident civic leaders and advocates in their communities. It teaches youth to understand issues, think strategically, speak out and lead. Through Young Voices, youth achieve high test scores, graduate high school, go to college and become highly successful adults.


Young Voices transforms urban youth into powerful advocates who have a voice in every aspect of their lives.

Our organization was created in 2006 to address the desperate need for an authentic youth voice in policy-making in Rhode Island. Since Young Voices was founded, more than 250 young people have become advanced leaders making a difference across the State.

We believe young people are uniquely positioned to inform decision making and deserve to have a seat at the table whenever decisions are made that impact their lives. Advocating for a seat at the table is only the first step. We also work to ensure that once at the table, youth have the training and skills needed to dialogue with adults as equals.

Our year-round Leadership Transformation Academy (LTA), trains youth in advanced research, public speaking, and debating skills. The LTA prepares youth to work with powerful adults to shape statewide policies that impact the future of our State.

Local & National Recognition

Young Voices has become nationally known for our work supporting youth to push for policy change in public education. We have been recognized by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the National Council for Teacher Quality for our work around teacher standards and evaluation. The Annenberg Institute at Brown University wrote about our work in its Voices in Urban Education periodical.

Progreso Latino, Inc. is a multi-service, non-profit, community based organization located in Central Falls. Our mission is to empower Rhode Island’s Latino and immigrant communities to achieve greater self-sufficiency and socio-economic progress by providing transformational programs that support personal growth and social change.

The rapid growth of the Latino population in Rhode Island during the 1970's and the inability of existing state social service agencies to adequately meet the needs of this population, led to the incorporation of the agency in 1977. Local Hispanic leaders established the agency to be staffed by bilingual, bicultural individuals in order to address the basic human needs of the Latino community.

Regional Expenses

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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