Funds help establish first-ever teacher residency program

The National Center for Teacher Residencies has received a $649,366 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to support the Mississippi Department of Education in the development of the nation’s first state-run teacher residency.

The grant will also fund strategies to better recruit and retain African-American male teachers and provide support to teachers pursuing National Board Certification.

As a state-run program, the Mississippi Teacher Residency will be the first of its kind in the nation. The Mississippi Department of Education will oversee the program’s development and will operate the residency when it is fully functional. The Mississippi Department of Education is in the process of interviewing prospective residents for the Mississippi Teacher Residency. More than 300 people applied. Decisions will be announced on May 1, 2019.

“The Mississippi Teacher Residency is a unique opportunity to build a state-led teacher residency with partners who are focused on developing high-quality teachers for students who need them most,” said Anissa Listak, NCTR’s founder and CEO. “States are increasingly recognizing the residency model as an effective way to address teacher shortages and to develop effective, committed educators for underserved communities.”

Since its founding in 2007, NCTR has helped launch more than 35 teacher residency programs that are delivering diverse and talented teachers for high-need schools and classrooms in 18 states. NCTR’s residency model pairs promising new teachers with trained mentor teachers and coaches for year-long apprenticeships in real classrooms. Coupled with college coursework, this training better prepares teachers to help students succeed, from their very first day as new teachers. Research also shows that residency graduates teach in their high-need schools longer. More than 80 percent of teachers trained in NCTR partner programs continue to teach in their high-need schools three years after being hired.

“When we looked at the data on teacher retention among teachers trained in residencies, we immediately saw residencies as a strategic way to provide teacher candidates with high-quality training and keep those teachers in classrooms – something we need in Mississippi,” said Dr. Carey Wright, Mississippi State Superintendent of Education.

The project calls for 35 residents to be trained during the 2019-20 school year, and another 35 the following school year. The residency will be free for those selected into the program, and it will provide residents with stipends during the residency year. Upon completion of the program, residents will receive a master’s degree and a job in one of the program’s partner school districts.