The Breakthrough Model

Students Teaching Students

Breakthrough uses the distinguished ‘students teaching students’ model to educate, engage and inspire young people to achieve their academic and career goals.  We recruit and train outstanding college students from top schools in the region and across the country to serve as teachers and mentors in our summer and school year programs. 

Our teachers bring an incredible amount of passion and energy to the classroom.  As role models, they symbolize hope and promise for the future and show that educational success is within reach.  Working under the guidance of experienced educators that we call 'instructional coaches', they develop and implement lesson plans, serve on committees, and evaluate student performance. To ensure their success in the program, Breakthrough teachers participate in an intensive two-week training and receive ongoing guidance, feedback and evaluation from seasoned educators who we call ‘instructional coaches’.

Breakthrough’s summer teaching internship is highly competitive and has been ranked by the Princeton Review as a top ten internship along with the White House, Google, and MTV. 


Classrooms and Curricula

Breakthrough’s classrooms have 10-15 students, creating a supportive learning environment and ensuring that each student's voice is heard.  Our curriculum is demanding.  Course content addresses gaps in students’ skills and aligns with the Common Core Standards, the Pennsylvania Core Standards and the curricula of the School District of Philadelphia.  We engage students through hands-on, project-based learning that challenges students to think critically as they apply knowledge to real-world situations.  Instruction is skills-based so that students not only learn content, they learn how to learn – and how to think of themselves as talented and able learners.