teacher residencyMay 16, 2019 — CSU Channel Islands (CSUCI) will start its first teacher residency program in partnership with the Ventura County Office of Education and the Rio and Oxnard Elementary School Districts, thanks to a pair of grants that complement each other.

One is from the National Center for Teacher Residencies (NCTR), a Chicago-based not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing outstanding new teachers for high-need school districts across the U.S.

The second is from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) and goes toward supporting in-classroom residencies for bilingual and special education student teachers.

Authored in partnership with the Rio and Oxnard Elementary School Districts, the CTC grant is for $167,000 for the first year and is renewable for five years for a total of $835,000.

The grant will enable bilingual and special education student teachers from CSUCI to enter a year-long residency in elementary schools in the Rio and Oxnard Elementary School Districts. Special Ed student teachers will be placed in the Rio School District and the Bilingual Education student teachers will be placed in the Oxnard Elementary School District.

“Last summer, Governor Jerry Brown set aside $75 million for the development of teacher residency models across the state of California,” explained CSUCI Dean of the School of Education Brian Sevier, Ph.D. “What’s noteworthy about this money is that it is almost exclusively designed to go to students, not to institutions or researchers. These grants were designed to help students in the form of tuition reimbursement and stipends.”

The program is scheduled to begin in fall of 2019 with five CSUCI teacher candidates selected for the program. The student teachers will have their tuition paid, and receive a yearly stipend of $8,000.

“A teacher residency is when students who are becoming teachers spend an entire year with one teacher in one school and one classroom,” Sevier said. “They are there for the entire school year, not necessarily CSUCI’s year. They are getting to see everything from what a teacher experiences setting up a classroom all the way to the end of the year with the students.”

Oxnard Elementary School District Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Jesus Vaca, Ed.D., said everyone at the district is “extremely excited” about this residency program.

“I have been in education for 30 years and the missing link has always been between ourselves at K-12 and higher education,” he said. “This provides us with an ongoing communication with the University that centers on instruction for our students. It also provides the opportunity for teacher candidates to get ongoing support through our district.”

CSUCI will get expert help setting up the residency program from the second award from NCTR. CSUCI was chosen to receive the benefits of NCTR’s New Site Development Program, a two-year engagement in which CSUCI will get help strategizing, designing and building the new residency program with regular visits from NCTR consultants.

“This amazing gift will also allow CSUCI faculty to travel to other teacher education schools to learn more about effective and impactful residencies,” Sevier said. “We will also be able to attend national convenings of the residency program at no cost to us.”

This new residency program marks a real change in the way we educate teacher candidates, Sevier said.

“The research on teacher residencies shows that teachers who come out of residency programs are like second-year rather than first-year teachers,” Sevier said. “The retention rates are so much higher for students who complete a residency.”

Once it’s up and running, Sevier hopes to further cultivate the program so it involves more students and more schools as it matures. 

All in all, Vaca said, it’s a “win-win-win-win” for all involved.

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