MDE seeks teachers for residency program

The Mississippi Department of Education is inviting aspiring teachers to apply for the new Mississippi Teacher Residency (MTR), which is a two-year program that combines coursework and on-the-job training to prepare 35 prospective educators for the teaching profession. Applications for the 2019-20 school year will be accepted from February 15 through March 15, 2019.

The MTR program is for people who want to become a teacher but are not currently enrolled in an educator preparation program at a four-year college or university. MTR applicants must have an associate degree or at least 60 college credits from a degree program. People of color, veterans, and community college students are strongly encouraged to apply.

The MTR is part of a statewide strategy to expand and diversify the teacher pipeline so that all students have teachers who are well-prepared, appropriately licensed and can serve as role models. The project is funded by a $4.1 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Teacher residents will complete a two-year undergraduate elementary education and special education program while working alongside an experienced teacher mentor in one of four participating districts. The districts include Jackson Public Schools, Sunflower County Consolidated School District, Gulfport School District, and Ocean Springs School District. Residents will receive a full scholarship funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and may receive a housing allowance through the AmeriCorps program.

Participants who successfully complete the MTR program and pass required licensure exams will receive a three-year educator license. Residents must commit to teaching for three years in the district where they completed their residency.

“The Mississippi Teacher Residency program will create a new pathway for educators to enter the profession and get the support they need to be successful,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education. “Innovative models such as teacher residency programs are needed to address the national and statewide teacher shortage.”

The W.K. Kellogg grant will also fund a performance-based licensure pilot program, which will help a select group of Mississippi teachers with provisional licenses become fully licensed. The program is aimed at teachers who have proven to be effective in the classroom but are struggling to pass licensure exams.