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National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance


Evaluation Studies of the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance

Implementation Evaluation of Teaching Residency Programs

Contractors: Mathematica Policy Research, Decision Information Resources

Background/Research Questions

For many teachers, the early years represent a difficult transition period—first-year teachers tend to be less effective classroom teachers than their experienced counterparts, and newer teachers are more likely to leave the profession. These difficulties are often attributed to lack of adequate teacher preparation and support, issues that teaching residency programs (TRPs) are designed to address. TRPs involve a year-long "clinical" experience (the "residency") shadowing and co-teaching with an experienced mentor. TRPs also provide continued support and mentoring after participants become teachers of record. Before and during their residencies, participants in TRPs take coursework, usually resulting in a master’s degree.

The evaluation of TRPs will provide important descriptive and implementation information on TRPs, as well as information on the teacher retention outcomes of teachers who participate in TRPs. The evaluation will focus on TRPs that have received grants from the Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) Program. The evaluation is authorized in Title II, Part A of the Higher Education Act, as amended by the Higher Education Opportunity Act (Public Law 110-315, Section 201 – 204). The TQP program, funded in FY09 at $43 million, received an additional $100 million in funds as part of The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009.

The study will address the following key research questions:

  • What are the characteristics of Teaching Residency Programs (TRPs) (e.g., length of overall program, nature of required coursework and apprenticeship activities, criteria for selecting program participants)?
  • What are the characteristics of participants in TRPs?
  • What are the retention rates of novice TRP teachers and their novice colleagues who did not go through TRPs?

Design:

Descriptive information concerning TQP grantees operating TRPs was collected through a survey administered in Spring, 2012. More detailed implementation information was collected through TRP program director interviews and surveys of residents and mentors, conducted within a subset of TRPs during Spring 2012. Teacher mobility will be tracked through district records and teacher surveys in order to examine retention in the profession, district, and school, among novice TRP and novice non-TRP teachers in a subset of approximately six districts.

Cost/Duration: $3,708,284 over 5 years (February 2010 – February 2015)

Current Status

A report is expected in Fall 2014 and will be announced on http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/.