Bringing Experts to STEM Teaching

Chicago’s BEST is partnership among CPS, Higher Education and Corporate organizations to bring talented STEM professionals into teaching at Chicago Public Schools. Our mission at CPS is to provide every child from every community in Chicago with quality education that prepares them for success in a global, 21st-Century economy. This means creating learning environments that go well beyond the basics. We pride ourselves on providing educational experiences that prioritize innovation, and that produce agile, adaptable problem-solvers who are ready to take on the challenges and opportunities of the future. It’s no secret that the job openings of tomorrow will require a strong foundation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or STEM. To prepare our students fully for these jobs, we need people whose understanding of STEM is more than just academic.

What is Chicago's BEST ?

Prepares those leaving the corporate world to engage students by applying classroom learning to real world experiences. This collaborative effort takes employees that are transitioning from the corporate world to high quality teaching programs and prepares then to serve Chicago’s students.

A: Our most important goal is to create agile, adaptable problem solvers capable of taking on the challenges and opportunities of the future. To do this, we must commit the resources necessary to ensure that all children develop STEM knowledge and skills. The interconnected content areas of science, technology, engineering and math – STEM power our economy and advance our society. We need our leaders to have the skills required to drive a strong, information-age economy and fill the anticipated openings. Cook County is projected to have roughly 450,000 STEM related jobs in 2018 and 13,000 STEM job openings annually! To meet Chicago’s growing workforce needs, students must have these skills.
A: Chicago’s Best Goal is to engage students in our most underserved communities with the skills and mindsets necessary to compete in our global economy. To do this, we need our most talented citizens to see teaching as a path to improve our city and lives of its children.


Chicago’s BEST seeks to solve multiple problems:

  • Find and train experts in STEM to teach in underserved communities.
  • Create a workforce of the future for Chicago’s expanding high-tech market
  • Contribute to greater STEM ecosystem, providing for a rich opportunity for corporate citizenship
  • Assist in finding meaningful placements in companies that are restructuring and require the service of career services organizations
  • Assist companies in planning for retirements and structural changes.



All schools do not receive an equal amount of applicants per opening. We have a shortage of talented candidates in some areas, including STEM fields, in our highest needs schools. Thus our target neighborhoods include:

  • Austin
  • Back of the Yards
  • Englewood
  • North Lawndale and Little Village
  • Roseland/Pullam
  • South Shore/Greater Crossing

    Stem Teacher
    Phase One
    • Eligible employees include (but not limited to) those entering retirement or being impacted by restructuring.
    • Employee informs employer of intent and gains consent
    • Employee completes university and CPS application
    • Participating company provides $15,000 to partner university for tuition
    Sponor of the stem program
    Phase Two
    • Employee chooses path
    • Traditional teaching licensure
    • Career and Technical Education
      • Pre-Engineering
      • Computer Science
      • Health Science
    • Completes degree coursework
    • Employee receives “early offer” to teach in an area of need
    Stem Students
    Phase Three
    • Employee becomes ambassador for the company
    • Employee must agree to teach for at least three years

    Supporting hands

    If you are interested in supporting the Chicago’s BEST initiative, you can make a donation to any of our education partners:

    Golden Apple Foundation    National Louis University    University of Illinois at Chicago

    News Articles

    Stem program teachers

    Leah Hope | December 14, 2016 ABC 7 News

    "CHICAGO (WLS) -- With many new jobs in the sciences, technology, engineering and math fields, a Chicago Public Schools program is helping prepare students while offering career options to industry professionals."

    Read More


    CPS teaming up with business to train teachers

    Shia Kapos | December 13, 2016 Suntimes

    In a first-of-its-kind collaboration, Chicago Public Schools is partnering with the business community to beef up its teaching ranks in science, technology, engineering and math — you know it as STEM. The partnership will have companies pay for soon-to-be retiring employees to earn teaching certificates and share their work experiences with young people, especially in underserved communities.

    Read More

    Page Last Modified on Thursday, March 02, 2017