Teaching Residency Programs: A Multisite Look at a New Model to Prepare Teachers for High-Need Schools

In Fall 2009 and Spring 2010, 30 teaching residency programs received funding through one of 28 Teacher Quality partnership grants awarded to establish or expand residency programs. These programs follow a model of teacher preparation in which prospective teachers complete graduate-level coursework alongside a year-long fieldwork experience in the district in which the prospective teacher will be hired. This report provides descriptive information regarding the 30 residency programs. For a purposefully-selected subset of 12 of the programs, in-depth information is provided regarding program participants and the retention rates of teachers once hired by the district.

The residency programs provided a fieldwork experience with a mentor teacher, along with integrated coursework. On average, residents reported being fully in charge of instruction for 21 days during the first half of the residence and 37 days during the second half. The programs included the equivalent of 10 courses, on average. The programs somewhat broadened the pool of people entering the teaching profession in the participating districts. For example, novice teachers from the residency programs were more likely than teachers from other programs to report having worked in a full-time job other than teaching (72 percent versus 63 percent). However, novice residency program teachers and teachers from other preparation programs had similar demographic characteristics. Novice teachers from residency programs had similar retention rates to other novice teachers. Approximately 90 percent of teachers from both groups reported staying in the same district from spring 2012 to fall 2012; about 5 percent of teachers were no longer teaching.

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