Education has long been one of the top careers Yale students choose after graduation. 15% of Yale college graduates go on to careers in education. In recent years, over three quarters of Education Studies Scholars pursue jobs and graduate school in education after graduation.
Yale Alumni in Education
Yale alumni have a long tradition of leadership roles in education. Distinguished alumni include Lloyd Morisett (PhD 1953), co-founder of the Sesame Street Workshop, College Board director David Coleman (AB 1991), Linda Darling-Hammond (AB 1973) education scholar and director of the Learning Policy Institute, John King (JD 2007), President of the Education Trust and the former Secretary of Education, and Achievement First charter school network CEO Dacia Toll (JD 1999). In recent years, education technology entrepreneurs include Max Ventilla, the founder of Alt School, Sam Strasser (YC 2008) of Summit Public Schools and Aaron Feuer (YC 2013) of Panorama Education.
Yale Education Studies Scholar-Alumni
Education Studies Scholars pursue education in a variety of pathways after graduation. One-third of the 2015, 16 and 17 Education Studies Scholars have entered preK-12 teachers in a variety of school settings. The remainder enter PhD programs or law school, work in think tanks, education or political consulting, educational technology, journalism, non-profits, and government, among other fields.
Read below for profiles of Yale Education Studies Scholars after graduation.
Annie Chen graduated from Yale in 2019 as a computer science major and Education Studies scholar with interests in Computer Science education and Education Technology. During her time as an undergraduate, she founded Code Haven, a student organization that teaches introductory coding to New Haven students, worked as a teaching assistant for a number of Computer Science courses, and interned at the Chan Zuckerberg Foundation. Her Education Studies capstone focused on creating and testing a choice-adaptive game to incentive students to choose challenging work. Since graduating in 2019, Annie moved to the Bay area to continue working with the Chan Zuckerberg foundation on their Summit learning initiative. She attributes her broad background in education to her time in the Education Studies Program: “The education studies program gave me chances to hear from a wide variety of guest speakers in education. At my job, those sorts of topics often come up in conversation, and I was able to contribute even though I hadn’t studied them in coursework.”
As an undergraduate, Education Studies Scholar Gavin Schiffres (YC 2015) spent summers teaching at the New Haven-based Ulysses S. Grant Foundation and working for the education reform organization Students First. Since graduation, Gavin spent three years teaching high school as part of Teach for America in St. Louis. In 2019, Gavin opened Kairos Academies, a charter high school in St. Louis focused on self-directed study and project-based learning, a project that he initiated as part of his Education Studies capstone at Yale. As part of his capstone research, Gavin “looked at cutting-edge reforms, how kids learn, school calendars, the physical space. It was a real luxury to spend a full year looking into how to do that well.” Read more about Gavin and other Yale alumni who have created their own schools here.
Abdul Razak-Zachariah (YC 2017) works at LEAP in New Haven, CT, where he recruits, hires, trains and provides college and career development support to over 80+ high school and college students who in turn serve as counselors in their after-school and summer programs for children and teenagers. He also is a children’s book author; his first children’s book, The Night is Yours, was released in July 2019. Abdul explained how much his education studies course-work laid the ground-work for his professional career: “Education Studies helped me explore questions and career paths that excited me. My sociology thesis (which was largely inspired by my Ed Studies courses) was focused on Black male mentor relationships and the person-to-person interactions that can lead to positive youth development. My Ed Studies capstone researched the various representations of people of color within children’s books and also resulted in the writing of the manuscript for The Night is Yours.” Read more about Abdul’s work here.