Program and Eligibility

What is Troops to Teachers?

Troops to Teachers was established in 1993 to assist transitioning Service members and veterans in beginning new careers as K-12 school teachers in public, charter, and Bureau of Indian Education schools.  The program provides counseling services for participants to help them meet education and licensing requirements to teach and subsequently help them secure a teaching position.  Since 1993, more than 20,000 veterans have successfully transitioned to a career in education.

Who is eligible for the program?

Former and retired members of the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, Reserve components and National Guard.

Is there an application deadline?

Applications must be submitted within three years of retirement or separation to receive financial assistance, with the exception of retired Reserves.

What are the requirements for basic program eligibility?

A member of the armed forces is eligible to participate in the program if the member’s last period of service was characterized as “honorable.”  A member selected to participate in the program before retirement or separation from service may continue to participate after separation if his/her last period of service is characterized as honorable.

If my application is not submitted within three years of retirement or separation, am I still eligible for the program?

You will not be eligible for financial assistance, but will be eligible to receive counseling services.

What services are provided through Troops to Teachers?

Services include counseling and navigating state requirements for eligible members of the armed forces to become a teacher in an eligible or high need school.  Financial assistance in the form of a stipend or a bonus and employment facilitation may be available to participants who meet education, military service and application requirements.  The maximum amount of financial assistance provided to eligible TTT participants is $10,000.

Why are the TTT state offices not providing services?

The DoD is revaluating the grants and associated funding process for state offices. Until the review is complete, the TTT National Office is available to assist with counseling, information about state certification requirements and facilitating employment.

Do I have a choice in the location and which school I teach at?

Yes you do.  Troops to Teachers facilitates employment by connecting qualified participants with schools that are hiring.   We work with a variety of schools and will provide you information on which schools are hiring.  Keep in mind that if you are approved for financial assistance, you must teach in an eligible or high need school of your choice to meet your employment obligation.

Financial Assistance

What type of financial assistance is available through Troops to Teachers?

Financial assistance in the form of a stipend or a bonus may be available to participants who meet certain education, military service and registration requirements.  The maximum amount of financial assistance provided to eligible TTT participants may not exceed $10,000. 

What is a stipend?

A stipend is a payment of up to $5,000 to cover expenses incurred by the participant to obtain the required educational level, certification, or licensing.  The $5,000 stipend is not available to those who are eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

What is a bonus?

A bonus is a payment of up to $10,000 for eligible participants as an incentive to teach in an eligible or high need school.

Can I receive both a stipend and a bonus?
Participants can receive a stipend and bonus but the combination cannot exceed a total of $10,000.
Is there a military service requirement that must be met to receive financial assistance?

Military service requirements to receive financial assistance include:

  • Retired from active duty on or after October 1, 1999 (must apply within three years after separation from service)
  • Active duty member with approved date of retirement with one year or less remaining before retirement
  • Transferred to the Retired Reserve
  • Retired or separated for a service-connected physical disability on or after January 8, 2002 (must apply within three years after separation from service). Physical disability must be noted on service separation document, not a VA determination.
  • Individuals transitioning from active duty on or after January 8, 2002, and have served four or more years of continuous active duty immediately before separation, and execute a written agreement to serve for three or more years with a Selected Reserve unit (must apply within three years after separation from service)
  • Individuals that have completed six or more years of creditable service towards retirement on or after January 8, 2002 and execute a written agreement to serve for three or more years with a Selected Reserve unit (must apply within three years after separation from service)
Must I complete additional military service if I did not retire or separate due to disability?
If you are not retired or separated due to physical disability, you must agree to serve as a member of the Selected Reserve of a reserve component of the armed forces for a minimum of three years.
What are the education requirements to receive a bonus?

If a participant is applying for a bonus to teach an academic subject, a baccalaureate or advance degree from an accredited institution of higher education is required.  If a participant is applying to receive a bonus as a career or technical teacher, the equivalent of one year of college from an accredited institution of higher education or the equivalent in military education and training as certified by the DoD or meet the certification or licensing requirements in the State in which the participant will be teaching.

What employment obligation must I agree to if I receive financial assistance?

You must agree to teach for a period of three years in either an eligible or high need school of your choice to receive either a stipend or a bonus.

How do I determine what schools are considered eligible for financial assistance?

An eligible school is a public, charter or Bureau of Indian Affairs school where at least 30% of students are eligible for free/reduced lunch.  These schools are eligible for the participant to receive a $5K bonus.  A high need school is a public, charter or Bureau of Indian Education elementary or middle school in which at least 50% of students are eligible for free/reduced lunch or a high school where at least 40% of students are eligible for free/reduced lunch.  State Department of Education or the local school district can provide a listing of the high need schools in your state or community.

Process

How do I apply for Troops to Teachers services?

To apply for the Troops to Teacher program, click Apply.   

Will I need to upload any supporting documentation when applying for the Program?

Prior to completing the online application, the following documentation will need to be uploaded:

Active Duty and Retired Active Duty

  • DD-214 (member copy 4, Retired ONLY)
  • Approved Voluntary Retirement Document (Active Duty ONLY)
  • Current LES (not required if retired)
  • Oath of Office (Officers - not required if retired)
  • Enlistment Contract (Enlisted - not required if retired)

Reserve/Guard & Retired Reserve

  • Retired Reserve Letter or Orders (Retired Reserves ONLY)
  • NGB 22 (National Guard ONLY)
  • Yearly Point Summary
  • Current LES (not required if retired)
  • Oath of Office (Officers - not required if retired)
  • Enlistment Contract (Enlisted - not required if retired)

If applicable

  • Transcripts
  • Certification Program Enrollment Letter
  • JROTC Certificate
  • Teaching License/Certification
  • School Employment Contract
  • SF 1199A Direct Deposit Form
Once my application is submitted, where do I go from there?

Once the application is processed, the national office will notify you by email of which services you are eligible to receive, based on your military service time, education and application date. The Troops to Teachers National Office is available to assist with program and state certification information. 

Teacher Certification

Where can I find state specific certification information?

Visit the state pages on this website to locate basic information on certification.

What type of teacher certifications are available?

There are traditional and alternative routes to certification.  Traditional routes to certification are formal teacher preparation programs.  Alternative routes to certification are considered non-traditional teacher preparation pathways. Requirements for licensure and certification vary from state to state.

What is reciprocity?

Reciprocity is a system whereby a recommendation for licensure from a state-approved education training program at an accredited college or university is recognized in another state.   However, reciprocity does not guarantee that a license in one state can be “traded in” for a license in another state.