How Residencies Support a Sustainable Teacher Pipeline

K-12Postsecondary & Workforce

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Cortney Rowland is the director of state and federal policy at the National Center for Teacher Residencies, an organization that works with state and local education leaders to launch and grow teacher residency programs to recruit and develop effective and diverse new teachers for schools and districts.

Research indicates that teacher residencies can address teacher shortages in ways that provide schools and classrooms with high-quality and diverse teachers, and with teachers who are less likely to turnover.   

A teacher residency program leverages partnerships between educator preparation programs and school districts to strengthen access to the teaching profession through high-quality, classroom-embedded support for teacher candidates. They pair pre-service curriculum with a yearlong clinical experience guided by a trained mentor. The National Center for Teacher Residencies (NCTR) worked with a group of leading education policy organizations, known as the Pathways Alliance, to develop a comprehensive definition of a residency that expands on these key components.  

Residencies can be a type of grow-your-own pathway. They may also be considered foundational to a registered teacher apprenticeship program. Registered apprenticeships require partnerships between an employer and training partner, on-the-job learning, related instruction and wages to support earning while learning — essentially, all the same components as teacher residency programs.   

State Examples
NCTR’s network of teacher residencies prepared over 2,000 teacher candidates in the 2021-22 academic year, but residencies are not a widely adopted model. There are about 100 teacher residency programs in the United States, and the number is growing. Twenty-three states have created or have supported teacher residency programs through statute or regulation. This is an increase from 13 states in 2019. States can cultivate a policy ecosystem that supports teacher residencies and allocate funds to spur their growth.  

New Mexico’s H.B. 13, for example, builds off of H.B. 92, further strengthening the definition of a teacher residency program and providing funding to support programs across the state.  

In July 2022, New York established a registration requirement for teacher residency programs as well as revised the residency certificate requirements. The state also provides funding support for teacher residencies.  

Texas and Minnesota both have teacher residency legislation under consideration this session. These and other state policy movements over the past several years provide the groundwork and support for the design, launch and implementation of more teacher residency programs that are positioned to impact teaching and learning. Furthermore, states expanding teacher apprenticeship programs and pathways can build off of teacher residencies to support high-quality apprenticeships.  

For additional information on how to develop a teacher residency program with educator preparation providers, school districts and charter schools, visit the National Center for Teacher Residencies. 

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