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Education & Nonprofit

Education and Non-profit includes fields such as teaching, advocacy, library and information services, environmental and social work.  Hamiltonians in this industry work at places such as the NYC Department of Education, Global Communities, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and the The Nature Conservancy.

Scroll through the blog posts and stories below to learn more about Hamilton student and alumni experiences in this industry, and then use our career resources such as Facts on File and O*Net to learn more. Finally, meet with your career advisor and explore the Career Center curriculum to learn how to network with alumni to discuss your interests and learn more about their work.

October Highlights

Education in the News: Fall 2021

  • NYT: “Black Lives Matter, She Wrote. Then ‘Everything Just Imploded.’”

A Black superintendent’s email to parents after the killing of George Floyd engulfed a small, predominantly white Maryland community in a yearlong firestorm.

  • NYT: “De Blasio to Phase Out N.Y.C. Gifted and Talented Program”

The mayor unveiled a plan to replace the highly selective program, which has become a glaring symbol of segregation in New York City public schools, for incoming students. It will be up to his successor to implement it.

  • NBC News: “Most college students don’t graduate in 4 years, so the government counts 6 years as ‘success’”

As the White House proposes spending billions to improve completion rates, colleges measure successful graduation rates at six and even eight years.

Books for Learning New Perspectives on Education

From the start of the pandemic to a nationwide teacher shortage, the education field has faced significant changes recently. Educators and administrators adapted to these new changes by shifting their schedules and taking on a larger workload. While managing their work, educators noticed an urgency to develop more resources to better understand students, especially with remote learning. The best way to improve your skills is to listen to others in a similar situation. Below are three books that offer new perspectives on topics in education which may help you in your developing career.

  • Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way To Build Good Habits And Break Bad Ones by James Clear (2018)

James Clear is a prominent author and speaker that leads you on a path of mindfulness. His book offers new ways to break away from bad habits and develop good habits. The journey can be difficult, however, Clear builds a foundation for you to ease through. Activities are included to engage you with helpful practices and can motivate you to take further action. Grand changes, such as the ones Clear encourages you to do, can significantly improve your teaching forms and how you connect to students.

  • So Much Reform, So Little Change: The Persistence of Failure in Urban Schools by Charles M. Payne (2008)

Charles M. Payne, a professor at the University of Chicago, is a distinguished scholar who studies the impact of social infrastructure on the education system. In his book, Payne argues that full accountability towards the weak social infrastructure and failing urban schools has not been done. The book explores the history of urban schooling reform and how successful reforms were made, which could be referred to for future projects. This book provides a great understanding of the systems of urban schooling and their histories.

  • Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brene Brown (2012)

Brene Brown has grown famous for her literary works that tackle issues of vulnerability and shame. Her books were supported by her work as a research professor at the University of Houston, where she studies the emotions of empathy, shame, and more. This particular book challenges you to change your approach towards vulnerability and use it to build your courage to create better connections. Classroom culture could be cultivated using these skills as a teacher to motivate students to do the same.

Nonprofit Industry Financial Terms To Know

  1. Fiscal sponsor: A tax-exempt nonprofit organization that offers financial management. For any organization that is not yet tax-exempt, fiscal sponsors are required to be a recipient of charitable donations.
  2. Expenditure responsibility: IRS procedures set in place to ensure that a donation made by a private organization to an organization not considered a “public charity” is used for charitable purposes.
  3. Form 990/Form 990-PF: Forms detailing a public information return that needs to be submitted annually by 501(c)3 private foundations and 4947(a)(1) non-exempt charitable trusts to the IRS.
  4. 501(c)(3): An IRS code that allows the opportunity for a private organization or public charity to be exempt from federal income tax and allowed to have tax-deductible donations for donors.
  5. Venture philanthropy: A philanthropic practice that utilizes ideas from venture capital finance to create an approach in which an investor supporting an organization can increase its social impact.

Event Highlight: Spotlight on Hispanic Educators with Emmanuel Hernandez ‘08, Natasha Espinosa '18, and Edgar Otero ‘20

On October 3rd, Edgar Otero ‘20, Teaching Fellow at Urban Schools, Natasha Espinosa ‘18, Social Science Educator at Miami Dade County Public Schools, and Emmanuel Hernandez ‘08, Assistant Principal of Special Education at NYC Department of Education served as panelists for the Career Center’s “Spotlight on Hispanic Educators” Zoom event. The trio spoke about their time at Hamilton and their jobs in education.

All three panelists expressed gratitude for their Hamilton education. Hernandez emphasized the development of his writing and critical thinking skills, telling listeners that “reading and writing is the foundation for everything in the world of work.” Espinosa agreed, adding that she learned how to structure her classes from watching her Hamilton professors. Meanwhile, Otero said Hamilton taught him “the why of education.” He recalled learning about demographic disparities in the classroom and was inspired to become a teacher.

When asked about his favorite part of teaching, Hernandez replied that it was “seeing that moment when someone learns something and their eyes light up.” Similarly, Espinosa looks forward to “coming into the classroom every day and being surrounded by the energy of students.” She enjoys encouraging her students’ love of learning and building relationships through these connections. Otero began teaching during the pandemic. He explained that in-person teaching has “been a night and day difference.” He finds “being in the room with real people and getting to build those relationships has been the best part of the job.”

The panelists also spoke about the challenges of teaching. Hernandez said alternative certification teachers, or people who received their bachelors in fields other than education and earned their teaching certification later, are in short supply. Further, he explained that “teachers of color are missing from the field,” and, unfortunately, they are leaving teaching at the highest rate. Otero and Espinosa discussed how “teacher choice” is increasingly being restricted by preset lesson plans. Both teachers enjoy the freedom to structure their lessons and prefer to respond to the students' interests and needs. During the job search, prospective teachers may want to consider whether a school's curriculum is open or restrictive.

Hernandez and Espinosa gave more advice for listeners: Hernandez recommends prospective teachers ask schools what support they offer to new teachers and whether they are “inviting to alternative certification programs.” Espinosa explained that she works best with high school freshmen and seniors. She suggests new teachers take time to find their niche; if one group isn’t a perfect fit, that doesn’t mean someone isn’t meant for teaching. Hernadez also told students, “don’t leave the field” if you don’t agree with your school’s philosophy—if able, try teaching for “at least three years in three different schools.” In other words, with some time and patience, most prospective teachers should be able to find the right match.

Featured Blog PostAshley King "14

Ask Ashley: Advice from a School Counselor

Ashley King ’14 majored in psychology and worked as a tutor in the Let’s Get Ready, America Reads, and DEAR programs. After graduating from Hamilton, she received her master’s in school counseling with specialization in leadership from the University of Rochester. Ashley is now an elementary school counselor and respite worker in Rochester, NY.

Read Ashley's Advice


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Each year, the Career Center surveys recent graduates to track their progress during their first year after Hamilton. The resulting report includes data about career fields and employers, where graduates are pursuing advanced degrees and postgraduate fellowships, as well as outcome information for each concentration.

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