2011 TC Pressroom
Teachers College, Columbia University
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A New Teacher Residency Program at TC

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A New Teacher Residency Program at TC

Associate Dean A. Lin Goodwin

Teachers College is creating a new teacher residency program in which students will work as apprentices with experienced teachers in high-need classrooms in New York City public schools for one year while earning master’s degrees. The Teaching Residents at Teachers College program (TR@TC) will be funded by a $9.75 million, five-year federal grant as part of a new push by the U.S. Department of Education to bring teacher education into the twenty-first century.
The program will recruit academically talented, diverse individuals from under-represented groups—for example, returning Peace Corps volunteers, veterans from the Armed Forces and mid-career changers—and transform them into exemplary, highly qualified teachers who can capably meet the needs of children and youth in high-need, urban school districts such as New York City.
 
The TC program blends university-based teacher preparation with deep engagement in high-need schools, says A. Lin Goodwin, TC’s Associate Dean for Teacher Education and School-Based Support, who is the principal investigator on the grant and will direct the program. “Students will be placed full-time in classrooms, but—unlike alternative certification programs—not as the teacher of record. They will be apprentices, working alongside an experienced teacher for a year.”
 
In a program similar to medical residency, teaching residents will work with an experienced and exemplary practitioner and mentor who will provide ongoing instruction, feedback and guidance. At the same time, in a blending of practice and theory, residents will engage in graduate coursework, professional study and education activities that are closely connected to classroom practice, school professional learning communities, district curriculum and learning standards, and students’ needs.
 
Residents will receive a substantial scholarship to TC, plus an annual living stipend and health insurance. After completing the program and attaining certification, they will be required to teach for at least three more years in a high-need school—preferably in New York City. During their first two years of service, they will be assigned an Induction Mentor to further guide and assist their development, ensure their success and increase the retention of new teachers in high-need schools.
 
The first year of the funding cycle, beginning immediately, will go to planning, hiring and developing curriculum, Goodwin says. The goal is to place 20 residents beginning next September, 40 the following year, and 60 in each of the final two years of funding.
 
Teachers College is one of 28 colleges and universities receiving a total of $43 million through the federal Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) programs. Announced on September 30 by the U.S. Department of Education, the grants are aimed at improving traditional teacher preparation and residency programs. Through an additional $100 million of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds, a second round of TQP grants will be announced in early 2010, the DOE said.
 
Other features of the TC program include:
 
• collaboration with partners, including New York City public schools and educators, school leaders, TC’s teacher education and Arts and Sciences faculty, and community-based organizations;
 
• innovative curricula that will prepare teaching residents to address the complex needs of students in high-need schools; and
 
• professional development of teachers and leaders in partnership schools whose principals will have gone through TC’s prestigious Cahn Fellowship leadership program for New York City public school principals.
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