Teach Summer 2010

Breakthrough students have the drive, the talent, and the brains to get to college.

What they’re missing is YOU!

Breakthrough Collaborative’s 34 sites are looking for high school students and undergraduates to teach bright, ambitious and underserved middle school students.

You’ll be asked to plan and teach your own class under the guidance of professional educators. You’ll work long hours, push yourself like you never have before and make a genuine difference in the lives of tomorrow’s leaders.

Teaching with Breakthrough is the premier pre-professional teaching experience anywhere, and one of the most challenging internship of any kind available to high school students and undergraduates in the United States.

This summer, do something real.
Teach Breakthroughs.


  1. Read the 2010 Teaching at Breakthrough Handbook. This is required reading for any applicant.  Also review the Frequently Asked Questions.
  2. Read dispatches from our summer teachers at Teachbreakthroughs.org.
  3. Read 2010 Summer Program Dates to learn about the summer calendar at each site. For all questions related to additional site specifics please login to the online application and click into the “Site Roster” button at the top right of the page next to the “Logout” button.
  4. CLICK HERE TO APPLY NOW The Application Deadline for 2010 passed at 5:00pm PST. Thank you for your interest in teaching with Breakthrough. Good luck to all of the applicants!  Looking forward to Summer 2010!

Applicants, again, thank you for your passion, commitment, energy and excellence. Only time will tell if you will join us at a Breakthrough site for Summer 2010. Regardless, know that by submitting our (admittedly challenging) application you have shown a commitment to service and your own development. All we ask is that you remain connected to the growing movement to provide excellent opportunities for underserved students and to change the face of teaching.

Applicants looking for the 2010 eRecommendation form can click this link: Breakthrough Collaborative Teacher eRecommendation Form 2010.

Any applications with specific inquiries please write Teacher Network Specialist, Dave Bryson, with your
questions, comments and concerns.

Application Deadline: March 1, 2010 5:00pm PST


173 Responses to Teach Summer 2010

  1. Nick says:

    Hey Dave!

    Last message I swear!

    I am continuing to have issues with the recommendations, and some of my teachers are actually having issues opening it as well.

    Is there anyway I could get it actually emailed to me or have a link to the template itself instead of having to open it with some program ?

    I’d appreciate it!


  2. Jessica Reddick says:

    When should the recommendations be in by?

    • Dave Bryson says:

      Hi Jessica-

      Recommendations should be sent to the director who asks you for one as soon as possible. Remember, we can’t guarantee all applicants an interview. Only applicants who are interviewed should ask their Recommender to send in the eRec. The eRec form is very short; it shouldn’t take your recommender more than an hour to complete.

  3. Stephany says:


    Unfortunately I missed this deadline but wanted to know if late applications were accepted?


  4. Derek says:

    Hey Dave,

    Basically I became very ill Thursday night and applying for Breakthrough was the last thing on my mind. I missed the deadline. Can anything be done?



    • Dave Bryson says:

      Hi Derek-

      I’m sorry you felt under the weather. Unfortunately, we’re not accepting any more applications for Summer 2010. The application was live for 3 months before the March 1 deadline. I’m sorry you didn’t have the time to submit before the deadline.

      Best of luck to you.


  5. Cindy says:

    Hi Dave!

    Is it still possible to view the Site Roster as the application is now closed?

    Also, if we are passed from our first site, will the director from the first site send our transcripts and recommendation to the next site?


  6. Adwoa says:

    I have a question about recommendations. How many should we have?

    Thank you!

    • Dave Bryson says:

      Hi Adwoa-

      One recommendation is sufficient. To be clear you recommender completes a written assignment. You are also asked to put down three references on your application. These people just need to be available for a phone call from the director.

      Good luck!

  7. Dave Bryson says:

    Hi Nick-

    The latest you will hear from our online site is March 8. You may be contact by one of our Site Directors before that. Thanks for your patience; we’re receiving tons of applications as I type this.


  8. KM says:


    Is it considerably more difficult for new teachers to get interviews or hired, as opposed to returning teachers? If our housing situation has changed for a particular site, should we notify the director or wait for an interview?

    Also, should we be worried if we haven’t heard anything back yet? I am sorry, but I am just really anxious! Thank you!


    • Dave Bryson says:

      Hi KM-

      Ok, here goes:

      1. Last year our returning teachers were approximately 1/3 of our summer teaching cohort. They certainly have a high percentage of acceptance that first year teachers (experience is so important!) but it is by no means automatic.

      2. If you’re housing has changed, I would encourage you to bring that up with a director if you are asked for an interview.

      3. You should not be worried yet! 😉 Next Monday will be the latest you receive word from our online system about your application with your first preference site. You may hear from a director in the meantime.

      Best of luck!

  9. Cassie Anyaeuhie says:

    Alot of my teachers are having questions on the recommendation eForm. I was invited to a interview this coming wed. I dont know how to help them on the recommendation part.

    • Dave Bryson says:

      Hi Cassie-

      The eRecommendation form should be completed by one of your teachers or former supervisors. When you invited to an interview, the Director will ask you to have your recommender send the eRec form directly to the Site Director. You just need to provide the Site Director’s email address to your recommender.

      Good luck!

  10. Will says:

    Hello! I have a quick question. I have completed my application, but am unable to submit it. All sections are shown as ‘complete’ except the “Tell Us More” part which shows ‘in progress’. I filled out only two of the three experience boxes because that is all of my experience. I haven’t put anything into the title section of the third box, so it shouldn’t keep me from submitting the application, right?

    • Dave Bryson says:

      Hi Will-

      Our online system has text validation fields for most of the application. This means that we require you not only to fill it in, but to put in the proper format. Every field that has a red line next to the prompt must be filled in. I’d encourage you to take one more long look at your application to ensure that all of the drop down lists have an option checked and all the fields are filled in.

      Good luck!

  11. Kao Zoua says:

    I’m having difficulties logging back on to my application. Is there anything else I can do to get back in?

    • Dave Bryson says:

      Hi Kao-

      We’re experiencing significant traffic on our log-in page. Sometimes, as you are trying to log in many others are as well ans it is unsuccessful. I encourage you to use patience and keep trying. After a couple of tries you should log in.


  12. Jenny says:

    Does the application have to be done by tomorrow or does the appliciation and the letter of recomendation and essay have to be done by tomorrow? I was given the idea that we didn’t need the letter of recomendation until someone e-mailed me back so I don’t know what to do since I can’t get a letter of recomendation in a day.

  13. Kim-Shun says:

    I’m an international student who is currently studying at Minnesota,Mankato. I have just started my first semester here and I’m interested in Teach Summer 2010.
    Am I eligible for applying as a teacher?

    • Dave Bryson says:

      Hi Kim-Shun,

      If you can obtain INS documentation to work in the United States for the summer you are eligible. Please see the office of international students at your school.

      Good luck!

  14. Cindy says:

    Hi there!

    Do out-of-towners need to pay for “homestays?” For instance, do teachers pay for a portion of their stipend for a dormitory?


    • Dave Bryson says:

      Hi Cindy-

      Directors will make every effort possible to secure free housing for out of town applicants. This is a great question to ask if you are offered an interview.

      Good luck!

  15. Dave Bryson says:

    Sheesh. That’s embarrassing…;) Updated.

  16. Judy says:


    Since selections of teachers are on a rolling basis, what if our first choice delays making a final decision on our application causing our second, third and fourth choice to fill their positions already? I submitted my application one month ago but have not received anything from my first choice, nor have I received a message that my application has been passed to my second choice. I’m just really worried.

    Thank you,

    • Dave Bryson says:

      Hi Judy-

      Yours are certainly valid concerns. Let me explain a few details about our application database. First, when your application is submitted all of the sites you select as your top 4 choices are able to view your application and interview you. They are not allowed to make an official decision on your candidacy until the site “before” them makes a decision. Still, this should not get in the way of your 2nd, 3rd and 4th sites reviewing your candidacy. Second, today we are launching our automation period in which will increase the speed at which our applications are processed. You will definitely be hearing from sites soon.

      Thanks for your patience and good luck!

  17. Matt says:


    I was trying to get more information on the different sites. When I clicked on the different sites from the site roster page, nothing showed up.

    Also, in regards to the teaching preferences part of the application, what level of expertise is required to teach a course?


    • Dave Bryson says:

      Hi Matt-

      I’ve just checked the Site Roster function and it is working correctly. Sometimes you need to try once or twice.

      With respect to teaching preferences, we are looking for a general knowledge base in the field and a desire to teach the subject. This is a great question to ask a Director in your interview!


  18. Cindy says:


    What is the difference between receiving a phone interview and attending a teacher selection event? Do attendees of the TSE event have greater chances of progressing through the application process, or is receiving a teaching position still highly competitive?


    • Dave Bryson says:

      Hi Cindy-

      (Before I continue: Teacher Selection Events include mock teaching, individual interviews and group workshops. The TSE is a newer practice and is only used by a few pilot sites in the Collaborative. Once you are invited to a TSE you will receive more information on what to prepare from the director hosting. Not all applicants will be invited to a TSE)

      As a rule of application procedures generally, the more time you get with the person processing your application the more opportunities you have to demonstrate all the great qualities you possess and therefore convince them that you’re the perfect candidate for the job. Attending a TSE allows you to showcase your talents and personality in a different way that speaking over the phone and writing your application. I would strongly encourage all applicants who are invited to a TSE to attend.

      Does attending a TSE ensure your selection? No. Does not attending a TSE ensure that you will never be offered a position? Also no.

      Good luck!

  19. Sara says:

    I am so confused–I have just been contacted for an interview from my 3rd site choice, and my 1st and 2nd site choices didn’t send me anything saying whether they’d passed on me or not!
    What does this mean? I thought I was supposed to be informed of every step of the process, including who is reviewing me when.

    • Dave Bryson says:

      Hi Sara-

      All of the sites that you have identified as your top 4 choices are allowed to interview you. However, they are not officially able to make a decision on your candidacy (offer or reject) until your application comes into their ownership; that is a site which you ranked as 2nd is not allowed to make you an official offer (or release your application) until the site before them, the current owner of your application, releases your application. It’s one of the unique parts of our complex selection process. We have a central clearinghouse for all of our applicants, but we want our local site directors to have the freedom and the ability to make decisions on who will teach at their sites. I can see how it might be confusing! Thanks for your patience.

      You will be informed as your application is moved along in the process by the site that owns your application.

  20. Nick says:


    Will we know if we’re declined from a site? If we are accepted how does that process work?


    • Dave Bryson says:

      Hi Nick-

      Our application database allows applications to flow from Placement Director A to Placement Director B and so on through a series of automated directives. As soon as you apply, all of the sites you listed as 1-4 of your preferences can see that you’ve applied. However, only your #1 site can make a decision on your candidacy. If, for example, they pass on the opportunity to invite you for an interview, they will press a button on your application that will do two things: 1) send you an email notifying you of this and 2) send your application to your #2 site.

      This automated process ensures that every application will be reviewed by all of your sites.

      If you are offered an interview by a Placement (Site) Director, you will begin to communicate with that individual on an as needed basis. Summer offers happen through those Placement Directors in person, over the phone and through email.

  21. Taylor Want says:

    I taught at Breakthrough Denver last summer, which does provide compensation to its teachers. Is this true of all of the sites?

    • Dave Bryson says:

      Hi Taylor-

      Yes, all teachers receive a summer stipend. The amount changes within sites and from site to site based on need, experience and fit. This is a great question to ask when you are invited to an interview.

      Best of luck.

  22. Keren says:

    I recently submitted my application. Do you know, typically, how long it takes to receive an interview request?

    • Dave Bryson says:

      Hi Keren-

      This is a tough question to answer exactly. I would need to know exactly when you submitted; additionally, I’d need to know what decisions were made by our directors at what particular moments. Our online system is name up of a number of timed and automated rules. Each application gets an individual timer on it that starts on a particular date. Then as our Placement Directors make decisions on each application the individual timers begin to fire. Given this automated timing schedule, as it states on the automated email from our system when you submit your application, March 17 is the last day that you will hear from the first site who you selected. Each time your application is passed from one site to the next you will receive an automated email message telling you that a new site is looking at your application. A site you ranked 2nd, 3rd, or 4th has 1 additional week to make a decision on your candidacy; they can also ask for an additional 12 days to review your application should the need it.

      Good luck!

  23. […] If you are interested in a Summer Teaching Internships, check out their website here. […]

  24. Cindy says:


    I’m a Californian who put New York as her number one choice of site..

    Out of curiosity, if I am unable to find my own housing means in New York (my distant relatives may live too far from the school), will I be provided a home-stay during my time in New York?

    Will I be unfavorable compared to other applicants who have their own housing resources settled? In other words, does Breakthrough give priority to applicants based on their accessibility to housing?

    PLEASE let me know!


    • Dave Bryson says:

      Hello Cindy-

      Thanks for your question. I assume you looked in the Site Roster (located inside the online application–the button next to the “Logout” button). The Site Roster indicates which sites have housing available, as well as what type of housing: Families, dormitories, a mix or none. As you can see, New York has “Limited Housing Available.” It’s not a question of priority; it’s a question of selectivity. It is more challenging for applicants who indicate that they need housing; as the number of applicants increases so too does the selectivity.

      Best of luck!

  25. Ariana McAvoy says:

    I just submitted my application but one of the sites i choose, New Haven CT, did not have a program director that I was assigned to. Does this mean that this city is not accepting applications for this summer?

    • Dave Bryson says:

      Hi Ariana-

      Congratulations! New Haven is definitely still accepting candidates. I’ve fixed that irregularity in the system to show the New Haven director’s email. Thanks for checking!

  26. Eliana Golding says:

    Are the Cambridge and New York sites still accepting applications? I hear that they’re no longer reviewing them.

    • Dave Bryson says:

      Hi Eliana-

      The Cambridge and New York sites, as well as all of our sites, are definitely still accepting and reviewing applications. Both sites do encourage applicants to submit early; it can increase your chances of getting a more detailed review of your application. Our deadline for application submission is March 1. To my knowledge there has not been a site that is completely full by the application deadline for the past several years. I don’t image it will happen this year. Submit away!

      Good luck!

  27. David L. Mitchem says:

    I graduated from college in 2009. Do I still qualify to participate in the program?

    • Dave Bryson says:

      I’m sorry, David. Our candidates are current high school students and undergraduates. Please check out our opportunities page for full time positions.

      Best of luck.

  28. Danielle says:

    I know the age requirement is 16-23, but I wanted to get a feel for how “strict” this is. I have already graduated, but am now going back to school as an undergraduate student (taking pre-req classes to be accepted into the mathematics adolescent education program). I am currently 24, but since I am still considered an “undergraduate student” could I still be involved with Breakthrough? Thanks for any advice you can give!

  29. Nalee says:

    I’m a college senior that will be graduating this spring. Will I still qualify to apply for the Summer teaching program?

  30. Eddie Lederman says:

    Hi there-

    In the Lesson Plan section it says “No Creative Writing.” Would it not be prudent to write a lesson plan that analyzes a fictional piece, or would that be an English themed lesson? Also in addition to that question, the word Shakespeare is thrown about, I would consider that to be high school material. Would I be presuming too much if I oriented the material towards a higher level of expectation, along the same lines as Shakespeare?

    • Dave Bryson says:

      Hi Eddie-

      Great questions! First we view analyzing a fictional piece as more English Language Arts than Creative Writing. Sure there’s plenty of analysis that goes on in a Creative Writing class. However, the specific competencies in areas of of note-taking, plot analysis, character development, synopsis are what we are trying to cultivate a deep understanding of in our students. Creative Writing is an incredible opportunity for a college and high school students to synthesize the skills they’ve perfected over the years. We want to build the car at Breakthrough so that our students can take it out for a drive in high school and college.

      We love to teach Shakespeare in our summer classes. By all means incorporate that text.

  31. Ann says:

    Hi, if we choose an out-of-town location to teach, for example, Hong Kong, will we have to pay for our air fare?


    • Dave Bryson says:

      Hi Ann-

      Yes, you will need to provide transportation to your site should you accept a position as a teacher. Hong Kong is a bit of an anomaly. They do provide monetary support to teachers for travel but, as it says inside the “Site Roster” (located inside the application) only to experience Breakthrough teachers.

      Good luck!

  32. Sara says:

    Hi, I’m currently completing my application and I was wondering if there is a preference for the subject used for the lesson plan part… I would love to teach Beginning French, but I don’t know if that is something that is necessarily a high priority in the program/ at my location (I’m applying for the Miami location). Does the subject I’m doing the lesson plan for matter in terms of whether that subject will be offered at that site?


    • Dave Bryson says:

      Great question!

      The application prompt calls for a lesson plan from one of the five core academic subjects we teach at Breakthrough. French definitely qualifies as a foreign language. Regardless of whether it is offered at your site this summer it’s a great choice for your application. Additionally, I would encourage you to indicate all of the topics you would be comfortable teaching in the “preferences” part of the application. Good luck!

  33. Jo says:

    I have a dilemma. I heard about this program through school….our school hosts the program in the summers, and I’m really interested in being a teacher. It’s my sophomore year in high school, and my only problem is that I turn 16 June 7th, and we were told the deadline is June 1st. Do I really have to wait until next summer?

    • Dave Bryson says:

      Hi Jo-

      You are certainly eligible to apply for the program. We accept applications from candidates aged 15-23. Typically, programs bring on only the top high school students who apply. Make sure your application is the best it can be!

      Good luck!

  34. Nick says:

    Hello again, Dave!

    I was curious as to know if I would be able to apply for another location after I submitted my application.

    A woman from the local breakthrough came to my class and I was informed Boca Raton’s location was shut down.

    Any way I could apply to Miami after already submitting my application?

    • Dave Bryson says:

      Hi Nick-

      There seems to be some confusion here. The Boca Raton site is definitely not “shut down” this summer. I’m not sure where you heard this rumor nor from whom. They will receive your application per usual.

      As for your question about changing your preferences, once you hit submit your application is submitted and locked. As I’m sure you noticed there are several checks that we put in place to ensure that all of the information you put into your application is valid and that you know that once your application is submitted there is no way to edit it. Please write to my email address dbryson@breakthroughcollaborative.org with questions or comments.

      Best of luck,

  35. Mrs. Smith says:


    I am currently in my 2nd year of teaching for Mason City schools and I would like to be a mentor teacher for the summer.

    I did not see any links for applying to be a mentor teacher on the site. Can you help me with this?

    Thanks 🙂

  36. Matt says:

    Hey Dave, sorry but last question:

    Is it Monday-Friday for 6 weeks straight that we teach? How does that schedule work?

    • Dave Bryson says:

      No worries, Matt.

      For the students the program is 6 full weeks of academic classes. The teacher schedule is actually a bit longer than 6 weeks. Most programs have about a week to two weeks of teacher training/orientation at the beginning of the summer and a week of evaluation and wrap-up at the end of the summer. You can see each site’s summer dates by clicking the PDF “2010 Summer Program Dates” document in #3 above.

      The main idea is that this is a significant time commitment during the summer; jump in with both feet and the experience will be better for you and your students.

  37. Matt says:

    Hey, question. I’m at HS student wanting to be a teacher when I grow up and think this will be a great start for me. I’m a little confused on two things. (1.) If I can go and teach in Fort Lauderdale and go back to my house to stay..is that fine? and (2.) Does this cost me anything to teach?

    • Dave Bryson says:

      Hey Matt-

      Great questions. Homestays are available to out of town teachers. As a local teacher it would certainly make more sense for you to live at home.

      To your second question: no! 😉 In fact we pay you! Teaching Stipends vary from site to site. You can ask directors about stipends once you are offered an interview.

      Good luck!

  38. Nick says:

    Sorry for another questions, but I can’t find what this means. 🙂

    What does Application Status: Assigned, Means ?

    I just submitted it but I would think It would say pending or under review or something, Heh.

  39. Nick says:

    For people becoming H.S Juniors, this summer, when the 2010 teachers are picked, will we have a chance to be picked ? (I heard it was only for people becoming Seniors and going into College, but you could still apply if you were becoming a Junior)

    I would absolutely love to help, and I’ll still apply, but I would like to know.

    • Dave Bryson says:

      Hey Nick-

      Great question! Breakthrough Teachers range in age from 15-23.You will certainly be considered by the sites to which you apply. I would consult the “Site Roster” which is inside the online application next to the “Log Out” link to learn more about which sites you might be best fit.

      Cheers and let me know if you have any other questions!

      • Nick says:

        Yes! Thanks so much for the quick reply! I’ll be 16 by that time!

        Exciting, and I’ll check the roster!

  40. Dave Bryson says:

    Hi Briana-

    On average candidates have about a week to make a decision. Though this can be a shorter time period for some candidates. That would be a great question to ask if you are offered an interview.

    Thanks for your question!

  41. Briana says:

    Hello. I was wondering if offered a position, how long does the candidate have to make the decision to commit?

  42. Dave Bryson says:

    Hi Sunny-

    We’ve replace the Teacher Resources page with the Application Resources page. We’ve provided two great examples of Curriculum Guides with accompanying lesson plans. We hope that’s sufficient. If not, please let us know and we’ll consider re-posting “Breaking It Down: Guide to Teaching at Breakthrough.”

    Thanks for your interest!

    • Sunny says:

      Hi Dave,

      If possible, I think re-posting “Breaking It Down: Guide to Teaching at Breakthrough” would be quite helpful for applicants. I felt like it gave more detailed instructions on how to go about making a lesson plan.

  43. Sunny says:

    Hi! I was wondering where did the teacher’s resources section go? I thought it used to be one of the tabs. It contained some information, which would be particularly helpful for the lesson planning section of the application.

  44. […] Teach Summer 2009 […]

  45. Suzie says:

    Hello again 🙂
    I am abroad and my usually reliable internet connection seems like it couldn’t handle all the traffic on the site. I am afraid of missing the deadline. Is there anyway I could contact (by phone or email) somebody about my application. Everything is ready, I am just having trouble uploading and submitting.

  46. Suzie says:

    I have two questions. First, I am studying abroad and can’t have my recommender hand me back the form in a sealed envelope because I am communicating via email. What alternative do you suggest? Second, I am having trouble locating on the website if the sites I am applying to need supplements to the application.

  47. Ola says:

    Although the Long Island site is listed in the 2009 Summer Program Dates it doesn’t appear as an option on the application. Why is this?

  48. Emily says:

    It seems like the word limit for the “academic elective course” section is 75-100 words, but that seems awfully low. Is that right or am I missing something? Thanks!

    • Bobby Cupp says:

      Ah, Emily-

      Brevity is the soul of wit.

      And we don’t want the whole story, but rather the “blurb” you would use to entice potential students to your elective.

      Good luck!


  49. Shira says:

    I do not currently have up-to-date First Aid or CPR certifications, though I could definitely attain them before the summer. Will this affect my application?


  50. Ariel says:

    Does anyone know where I can find the lesson plan template?


  51. Chrissy O says:

    Hi Summerbridge! I was wondering if two applications are required, the general application and a site application, or if that would be redundant. Also, an oddly specific question: Does Summerbridge ever teach math electives, or only humanities electives? I have a great idea for one and I’d love to put it on my application! Thank you!

    • Bobby Cupp says:


      It’s hard to answer your first question without knowing the site(s) in which you are interested. While there is only one national summer application, some of our sites do ask for supplemental forms. The directors of those sites will have the best information on what is required and what isn’t.

      As for your second question, there are variations around the Collaborative but, as mentioned in the Teaching at Breakthrough Handbook, most sites offer both academic and non-academic electives.

      Regardless, I suggest that you apply with your fun elective idea – even if you don’t get to teach it this summer, it will still show what an interesting, creative applicant you are.


  52. Yami Rodriguez says:


    On the Hong Kong roster it states that housing and airfare will only be provided to those with previous Breakthrough experience. I’m a graduate of Breakthrough Miami from a few years ago and would love to change a students life as they changed mine by applying to teach at a Breakthrough program. But does my participation as a Breakthrough student count as a previous Breakthrough experience or are they referring to a previous teaching experience?

    Thank You for your time

  53. Teresa says:

    Once we get accepted to a program, is there an opportunity to network with others who’ve been accepted to our site? I’m applying from out-of-town and looking for an apartment to sublet, and I imagine there might be others at the sites I’m looking at in the same situation, in which case it’d be nice to network for finding housing. (I have a cat, which I assumed meant it’d be difficult to get a homestay.)

    – Teresa

  54. Dan says:


    Would it be possible to complete the training at a different location than where you would actually be teaching. For instance, if I were teaching in Austin, could I complete the training in Houston and then transfer over to Austin for the actual program?


    • Bobby Cupp says:


      By joining a teaching staff for the summer, you are agreeing to become a part of the community of students and teachers. The lessons and bonds established in Orientation Week are what sustain you through the long, hard weeks ahead. Please only apply to sites at which you would be able to be present throughout the entire program.



  55. Ben says:

    I have already submitted my application, and have a question about the letter of recommendation. There is a professor at my university who I feel would be a good candidate to fill out the form for me, but I feel like my counselor from high school (who I still keep in close contact with) knows me a bit better. Would it be at all detrimental to use a contact from high school? Does the program prefer college contacts? Also, do most people include an actual letter, or just the rubric provided?

  56. Kimberly McManus says:

    I submitted my application already; however I have recently began creating curriculum and teaching high school students once a week through a program at my college. This new experience seems very relevant to Breakthrough. Is it possible to somehow add it to my application?

  57. Lauren says:

    If I graduated from college last May 2008, can I still apply? Or is it only for undergrads??


    • Bobby Cupp says:


      Unfortunately, you are not eligible to teach with Breakthrough this summer. Only students with a Bachelor’s completion date of December 2008 or later can apply.

      Our sites may have a need for other types of support, though, and you are encouraged to contact your local directors with your availability and interest.

      Best wishes,


  58. Naadia Owens says:


    On the Lesson Plan portion of the application are we preparing a lesson plan for a single class or outlining something we would try and teach for the entire summer.

    Naadia Owens

  59. Jennae says:

    I just found this internship and am extremely interested in it. I was wondering if there are any positions still available for the summer of 09 and what still available locations offer housing options?
    Thank you 🙂

    • Bobby Cupp says:


      All sites are still accepting applications, and all information on our affiliates is included on the Site Roster once you start applying. Be sure to read the Teaching at Breakthrough Handbook before you start!


  60. Trishala says:

    I know the deadline for the application is March 2. I understand that some of the sites look at applications and fill positions as early as February. I just started the essay portion of the application and I’m worried that I might not finish in time. How late is too late?

    • Bobby Cupp says:


      It depends on the sites to which you are applying. All sites will have at least *some* positions available at the deadline, but the more high-interest locations will have very few. Basically, submit your application as soon as it is good. A rushed application is worse than a good application sent in at the deadline, but don’t delay otherwise.


  61. Meliss says:

    Thank you! Okay just two more questions.
    I thought I read somewhere about a recommendation letter. Do we need one? If so, where do we upload or mail it to?
    Secondly, if notified of an interview will we receive suggested preparation? If not, any suggestions?
    I may be jumping the gun a bit since I haven’t even applied :).

    • Bobby Cupp says:


      The answer to your recommendation question is in the Teaching at Breakthrough Handbook, and you will receive a recommendation form via e-mail when you submit your application.

      Any director that offers you an interview will let you know what they need from you at that time.


  62. paul says:

    When do we find out whether we are accepted or not?
    Does “Early Assignment” application find out faster or are they the same?

    • Bobby Cupp says:


      All selections are done by directors after interviews have taken place. Early Assignment means that your application is submitted and queued up for review. If you are to be granted an interview, you’ll hear from a director first, and the final notification deadline is March 13. You may hear sooner than that, but it depends on the sites to which you applied and a host of other factors.

      Good luck!


      • Sara says:

        So if we have already had an interview, will we know for sure by March 13th?

      • Dave Bryson says:

        Hi Sara-

        That is a great question for the Director who invited you for an interview. Due to the complexity of the personnel involved in this process (2000 applicants with up to 4 choice preferences, 27 Placement Directors) once people are contacted by their first choice preference it’s difficult to place an exact date at which point you will complete the selection season. From a national standpoint, we say that March 15 is the day that all candidates will hear from their first site. After that timetables are individual to the candidate and the sites that candidate has chosen. Please know that our Directors are moving as quickly as they can while taking the requisite time to give each application its due consideration.


  63. Melissa says:

    On the application under the course description for an elective class it says 75-100 words. Is this only for the title or for the entire description?
    I hate being so behind on applying I didn’t find out about Breakthrough until recently!

    Thank you,

    • Bobby Cupp says:


      That is for whatever goes in the box. You don’t want to write a textbook there, just give a sense of what elective you’d like to teach and why it would be interesting to students.

      And you’re not behind – you’re right on time!


  64. Bobby Cupp says:


    If you are granted a “homestay,” that generally means that you will not have to pay for your housing. These are all handled on a case-by-case basis, with the assumption that a site will do whatever they are able to do to support a strong candidate. Be sure to be in communication with directors when you interview about your needs.


  65. Bobby Cupp says:


    That is a really good question, and the answer is that it varies from site to site. You can get some sense of how structured a site is from the descriptions on the Site Roster, but it is generally best to contact the local directors with specific questions.

    Even at the most structured sites, however, you are expected to show independence and creativity in your lesson planning. At most, a site will determine specific skills that need to be mastered in the summer and will set the scope an sequence of the curriculum accordingly.

    Thanks, and good luck!


  66. Paul says:

    So if we have to homestay, do we pay that on our own? Or is that included as part of the program?

    • Michelle says:

      Hey Paul,

      From my experience this summer in Sacramento, I can tell you that you don’t have to worry about that. You do however have to pay for your own food and what not–but thats when your stipend comes in hand (:
      Good Luck!

  67. Jenny says:

    Hello. A few questions…For the academic classes, is the curriculum a set curriculum? If so, is there any way prospective applicants can see a sample curriculum? How much flexibility do teachers have in how they choose to teach the curriculum? Thanks!

  68. Carmen says:

    Is it possible to view the application/essay questions without starting an application?

    • Bobby Cupp says:


      Unfortunately, there is a login-wall for the application, and you need to create a login to view the application. That said, there is no commitment that comes along with starting an application. Should you decide that you are no longer interested in applying, I’d even be able to delete your information entirely from our system, if you’d prefer.


  69. Laura Z says:

    Hi, I was looking through the site roster, and noticed that Houston, one of the places I’m interested in, does not offer housing. If I don’t have any means myself of finding housing, should I choose not listing it as one of my preferences?
    Thank you!

    • Bobby Cupp says:


      If you are unable to provide your own housing, and the site doesn’t offer housing, it would be best to apply somewhere else. Directors that don’t have homestays generally reject all applications that require housing.


  70. Emma says:


    I was wondering what a typical day would be like in the summer. I read “A Typical Day” in the handbook, but I wasn’t sure if that applied to the summer as well.


  71. arielle says:

    Hi, I’m a junior in highschool now and I was wondering if all the sites accept high schoolers or if only specific ones do, especially for out of town teachers. Thanks!

    • Bobby Cupp says:


      While all sites accept HS teachers, not all are able to offer homestays to HS teacher. You’ll need to contact the directors of the sites which you are considering to ask this question.

      Good luck!


  72. Mickey Lai says:

    What if there are time conflicting issues (only by a couple days) with the UC calendar and our choices on sites such as Sacramento or San Jose? Are we able to work out a solution for those couple days?

    • Bobby Cupp says:


      Full attendance is required of all teachers at all sites. If you will not be able to attend every scheduled day of the program, you are asked to apply elsewhere. However, the UC calendar lists the last day of the Spring Semester as May 21, so there is definitely no conflict there with any of our sites.


  73. Chris says:

    Hi, I’m about to graduate in May from college, am I still eligible?

  74. Kevin says:

    I have a question Bobby, for the Hong Kong program, is it in English? Do you teach in English? This program is really interesting and I hope I get in!

    • Bobby Cupp says:


      All important details about our sited (including Hong Kong) can be found in the Site Roster inside the application. Please review that information before you make a decision!

      Good luck,

  75. Bobby Cupp says:


    The program is tuition-free and voluntary for all students. Even so, the directors travel around town seeking out the absolute brightest and most promising students from the most underserved or underresourced areas. Breakthrough and the students kind of “find each other” that way. The student admission process is even more involved and difficult than that for teachers, as it includes deeper research, more interviews, and parent/guardian interviews as well. This is because the program is making a six-year commitment to the students and their families.

    Good question!

  76. Walter says:

    Sorry to ask another question, but I’d like to know how exactly are the students (not teachers) that attend breakthrough selected? Do they apply for the program themselves? or does the program look for them?

  77. Deborah Cohen says:

    I was wondering how I could mark that I wanted to be an athletic chair. The handbook says there is an athletic chair, but it does not appear on the drop down in the application. Thanks for your help!

  78. Vivian says:

    How strict is the 3000 character limit? If it’s strict, does the limit include spaces or indentations?

    • Bobby Cupp says:


      The limit is indeed strict (it won’t allow you to submit if you go over at all), and spaces and indentations count as characters against that limit.


  79. Bobby Cupp says:


    You should check out the Site Roster on the application. That will give you the information you need for all the sites.


  80. Walter says:

    Thank you
    umm…. do you have information about Houston? I’m assuming the acceptance rate is probably going to be lower…

  81. Walter says:

    may I ask about how many people are accepted out of how many applicants?

    • Bobby Cupp says:

      Walter –
      That depends on the sites to which you apply, but nationwide we place about 780 out of 1600 applicants. Some individual sites, however, have much higher or much lower acceptance rates. When you apply, be sure to include some sites in smaller cities (such as Norfolk, Cincinnati, or Santa Fe) or sites that select a higher number of teachers (Philadelphia or Miami) to improve your chances of acceptance.

  82. Shirley says:

    Aw, too bad! I didn’t read that before submitting my application though, so please ignore it. And if you know of any interesting work for a desperate grad student, drop me a line!

  83. Shirley says:

    Can graduate students apply? I’m a first year grad student.

    • Bobby Cupp says:


      Unfortunately, the Breakthrough teaching internship is available only to undergraduates. If you are interested in offering your expertise to Breakthrough students in some other capacity, just contact the director at your local site to find out how you can help.

      Take care,

  84. Ola says:

    Is this program open to international students?

    • Bobby Cupp says:


      Breakthrough always has a number of international students. You are encouraged to apply, but also to be in touch with the directors at the sites you are interested in. It’s up to each individual site to arrange the rules and policies for documents and permits, etc.

      Good luck!

  85. Mary says:

    For the lesson plan part of the application, one of the sections for that is “assessment.” I am not sure how to approach that section…

  86. L.H. says:

    What does “early assignment” mean on the application status?

    • Bobby Cupp says:

      L.H. – That means that your application is submitted and waiting to be reviewed by a Director. “Early Assignment” just means that you submitted your application more than a month before the deadline.


  87. ij says:

    What are the dates for the program?
    Also, I am doing an intensive Arabic studying abroad program next semester. Will my inability to do an in-person interview prevent me from being accepted?

    • Bobby Cupp says:

      All the program dates are shown on the Site Roster inside the application. Starting an application doesn’t imply a commitment, and for now, it’s the only way to get all the dates.

      Interviews are mostly done over the phone. The answers to these, and most other questions you have can be found in the Teaching at Breakthrough Handbook.

      Good luck!

  88. jman says:

    Thanks Bobby!


  89. jman says:

    How soon do people usually find out about interviews?

    DO you find out if they are simply not interested in you?

  90. Mia says:

    I taught for two summers through Breakthrough in South Florida. After those two summers, I went on to teach H.S. for three years and now I am a Resident Principal! I am on my way to being an innovative leader for our under privileged students. All this would not be possilbe without Breakthrough!!! I would encourage you all to apply if you are serious about changing your life and positively affecting others. Thank you so much Breakthrough.

    • Cindy says:


      If an applicant is invited to a TSE (Teacher Selection Event), what should the applicant expect? Is this an interview? Will the applicant’s chance of acceptance be high if they are granted to this event?

      THANK YOU!!!


      • Dave Bryson says:

        Hi Cindy-

        Typically Teacher Selection Events include mock teaching, individual interviews and group workshops. The TSE is a newer practice and is only used by a few pilot sites in the Collaborative. Once you are invited to a TSE you will receive more information on what to prepare from the director hosting.

        Good luck!

  91. Deja says:

    I just wanted to know if the interviews for each individual site are held in the different states, or is it one interview held in your hometown for whichever site you are interested in?

    • Bobby Cupp says:

      Unless the site that grants you an interview is close to where you live, you can expect to be interviewed over the phone. All the details are in the “Teaching at Breakthrough Handbook.” Good luck!

  92. jamn says:

    I applied already. I really hope that I get in .

  93. Bobby Cupp says:

    You can get all the details in the Teaching at Breakthrough Handbook, but there is a living expenses stipend that varies according to location and your need.

  94. Cheris says:

    Not that it matters that much, is this a paid program

  95. Wow! This sounds so amazing–I can’t wait for the summer application to be online!

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