Who We Are. What We Do.
Nothing under a school’s control impacts student learning more than a skilled teacher. That’s why, in 2007, we started the National Center for Teacher Residencies (NCTR) to transform how educators are prepared for America’s classrooms. Through partnerships with public schools, higher education, nonprofits, and states, NCTR has helped launch 36 teacher residency programs that are delivering diverse, talented, and effective educators to schools that need them most. More selective and rigorous than traditional teacher colleges, our partner residencies produce teachers who are better prepared to help children succeed from day one.
NCTR partners select smart, dedicated people and train them to be great teachers. We do this through an intense clinical experience that is similar to a doctor’s medical residency. Residents spend about 1,400 hours in schools learning and honing their skills under the tutelage of experienced mentor teachers, while simultaneously completing graduate-level coursework that is directly linked to what is happening in their classrooms. In exchange for their hard work, residents receive high-quality, relevant training, a master’s degree, a teaching certificate, and a job in the schools where they have trained.
More than 90 percent of our resident teachers work in schools where more than half of the students qualify for a free- or reduced-price lunch. These high-poverty and rural school districts often lack the resources to recruit, train, and keep high-quality teachers.
Teachers who graduate from residency programs are better prepared to help children succeed, and that leads to higher student achievement. Principals report that our graduates outperform their typical new teachers, while the residency model provides teacher-leadership opportunities to veteran educators. Residents become deeply committed to the schools where they trained, as they continue to teach in them for several years after graduation. This greatly reduces teacher turnover in these high-need communities and allows residency programs to respond directly to the hiring needs of districts. As a result, teacher residencies save districts and taxpayers money while simultaneously improving student learning and achievement. Teacher residencies also help diversify the teaching profession. While nationally, less than 20 percent of teachers are people of color, over half (52 percent) of teachers training in NCTR-affiliated programs in 2017 were people of color.