Teacher Scholars Program

The Teacher Scholars Program works to increase the diversity of the pool of local educators teaching in San Diego schools. The program awards multi-year scholarships (including teaching credential year) to outstanding low-income students who reflect the diversity of the San Diego Unified School District.


Most of the scholars are the first in the their families to attend college and all come from families with limited incomes. Scholars must attend college in San Diego County and plan to teach for three years in the San Diego Unified School District.


A critical component to ensure that the Scholars graduate and earn a teaching credential is the mentoring and counseling provided by SDEF. Each student is assigned a mentor who works closely with the Scholar throughout the college years. All Scholars must complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and the SDEF mentor assists students to pursue all available public and institutional financial aid.

Scholarship benefits

  • $1,000 per year for students attending community college
  • $2,000 per year for students attending a university
  • Up to $4000 per year for fifth teaching credential year
  • Counseling
  • Mentoring
  • Assistance with other financial aid


Minimum Requirements

  • Commit to teach in the San Diego Unified School District for at least three years if selected as a scholarship recipient
  • Be a high school senior attending a school in the San Diego Unified School District
  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Participate in both school and community activities
  • Pursue a college course of study leading to a teaching credential
  • Plan to attend college or university in San Diego County