The Institute for Recruitment of Teachers (IRT) empowers talented underserved and underrepresented future educators to teach and serve as leaders in American education because diversity is essential to excellence.

Core Values
  • Diversity. We believe that a diversity of educators, pedagogies, and ideas elevates the quality, expands the scope, and enhances the richness of education.
  • Excellence. We believe creating a culture of inquiry that seeks to cultivate analytical rigor, high standards and innovation in approaches to teaching and learning as core attributes of our future educators is the most effective way to realize educational excellence in our schools, colleges, and universities.
  • Influence. We invest in the next generation of educators because we know that a quality education provided by an effective teacher is the single greatest influence on student success.
  • Empowerment. We believe that providing diverse students with educational and professional advocacy and mentorship in higher education will expand their career options as well as equip them to inspire more students as teachers, role models, and innovative thought leaders in education.
  • Leadership. As an organization, we will act with intention and integrity in our decision-making, leadership, and governance through a culture of adaptability, assessment and introspection, and innovation. Fiscal sustainability is fundamental to our purpose.
National Impact

Given the dearth of diversity in the teaching workforce and an anticipated increase in market demand for teachers, IRT addresses the diversity gap in graduate school, the teaching profession, and educational leadership pipelines.

Since 1990, a growing cadre of IRT alumni have launched careers in teaching and administration in schools, colleges, and universities.

The IRT blog publishes articles on a regular basis highlighting our strategic priorities and initiatives, alumni, programs and other news.

The trusted source for America's next generation of educational leaders.

IRT founder Kelly Wise (left center) leads students across Abbot Circle.

A Brief History

The Institute for Recruitment of Teachers (IRT) was founded in 1990 by Kelly Wise, former IRT executive director and dean of faculty at Phillips Academy, with a mission to “deepen the pool of talented minorities entering the teaching profession in our country.” The Institute was designed to increase the number of African American, Latino/a, and Native American students pursuing advanced degrees for teaching, counseling, and administrative careers at both the K-12 and university levels. In 2004, the Institute reaffirmed its commitment to eradicating racial disparities at all levels of education and selecting outstanding college students and recent graduates from all diverse backgrounds, including Asians and Caucasians, who are committed to these ideals.


alumni have completed their Ph.D.s in the humanities, social sciences, and education fields

More than


alumni have completed their terminal Master’s degrees

IRT alumni are on the faculty and administration at 


colleges and universities, including 27 tenured faculty and 91 on tenure-track

To date, more than 


IRT alumni are leading programs, departments, and institutions, as Associate Directors, Directors, Deans, Principals, Superintendents, and even Campus Presidents


By 2020, the growing vanguard of IRT alumni is transforming the American educational experience for students in all quarters.