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Center for Excellence and Equity in Teacher Preparation

UD Teacher Residency Program

The University of Delaware Teacher Residency Program (UDTR) allows teacher education students to pursue a yearlong, paid residency in a Delaware school in place of a traditional student teaching experience. Building on the medical residency model, this program gives students the opportunity to teach alongside an effective teacher-mentor in a high-need classroom as they engage in a carefully aligned sequence of academic coursework. University of Delaware’s (UD) teacher residents receive stipends and commit to teaching in their resident districts for three years after their UD graduation.

In fall 2020, UD launched it’s UDTR program in collaboration with four school districts in Delaware. The first cohort of residents comprised 18 ECE and ETE students. Since then, we have expanded to include more school districts and have added Secondary STEM 4+1 students. The school districts with which were partnered include Appoquinimink, New Castle County Vocational Technical, Red Clay Consolidated, and Smyrna.


What is a teacher residency program?

Teacher residencies are the most comprehensive model of teacher preparation in the nation.  Residencies play an increasingly important role in designing human capital strategies by creating a pathway that responds directly to the hiring needs of the school districts.  In addition, residencies provide career advancement for experienced teachers to act as mentors, while developing highly effective new teachers that are capable of impacting student achievement from the moment they enter the classroom as a teacher of record.  The UDTR closely follows the National Center for Teacher Residencies (NCTR) model.  It blends a rigorous full-year classroom apprenticeship for pre-service teachers with a carefully aligned sequence of academic coursework. Building on the medical residency model, teacher residency programs provide residents with both the underlying theory and evidence-based practices of effective teaching and a year-long, in-school “residency” in which they practice and hone their skills and knowledge alongside an effective teacher-mentor in a high-need classroom. New teacher residents receive stipends as they learn to teach, and commit to teaching in their districts for three years beyond the residency.

What is the purpose of a teacher residency program?   

Teacher residency programs surfaced in response to the need to address nationwide teacher shortages and to increase the diversity of the teaching workforce.  Additionally, since recent research reveals many novice teachers feel under-prepared to meet the needs of students in high needs schools upon graduation from teacher preparation programs, it is expected that more intensive, evidence-based practice through residency programs can prepare residents to be good on day one and great over time.  Teachers who do not feel prepared tend to leave the field much earlier than those who are better prepared.

Currently, the nation is experiencing a shortage of qualified teachers in high needs schools and high needs content areas.  In particular, there is a great need for teachers in the following content area:  special education, English as a second language (ESL), science, mathematics, and foreign languages.  Additionally, there is an urgent need to diversify the workforce.   As the nation’s students become more diverse, there is a great need for teachers of color.  Research shows that Black students who have just one Black teacher in elementary school are more likely to graduate from high school and consider going to college.  However, only 7 percent of U.S. teachers are Black. Teacher residency programs aim specifically to recruit people of color to address this need.

Our goal is to establish a new pathway that will focus on preparing the residents by providing training and support in high needs placements so that we can retain quality teachers in high need communities.


Application Criteria  

If you are an elementary or early childhood major who will be pursuing certification in special education or ESL or if you have an interest in teaching secondary math or science and are interested in being part of the 2023 residency cohort, please see the criteria below.

  • Must be a rising junior in ECE, who is eligible to begin student teaching in the fall of 2023 OR must have applied to the M.S. STEM education 4+1 program and are ready to being in the fall 2023.
  • Preferred overall GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Must have outstanding evaluations on all field experiences prior to student teaching, if applicable.
  • Must have demonstrated professional behavior throughout their undergraduate career in classes and field experiences.

Please contact Maya Constantine maya@udel.edu or Krissy Najera knajera@udel.edu with any questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Teacher Residents are paid stipends to serve as Residents for one entire school year.  If accepted, Residents will begin in mid-August with a summer professional development institute and continue until the last day of school in June.  Residents will follow the school district calendar but have time off to study for finals as well as any other breaks offered by the district.  This means that even though UD’s fall semester ends on the last day of finals, school districts continue, typically, until winter break (see district calendar to confirm), which is when you would be expected to be there.  Furthermore, you would report to the school right after winter break (usually January 2nd or 3rd) and continue until the last day of school in June, with time off for finals and school district breaks.

There will be overview orientation during the first two weeks of the fall semester. Once we have had an opportunity to meet with all students that will enter student teaching during fall 2022, we will open the online application and you will be able to apply directly through this site.

A portion of the application process will consist of two recorded essay responses and students will have a chance to rank the districts they would like to pursue for a residency placement. Students’ district rankings will be taken into consideration by each district.  Representatives from the University of Delaware and districts across the state will review all applications and submit names of students they would like to interview.  We will announce final selections once all districts have had a chance to interview their selected candidates.

Residents will receive a stipend during their residency year. Students may also be able to substitute for their residency teacher throughout the year and receive additional pay.

No. Residents follow the district calendar and take the district spring break (which is usually longer than UD’s spring break).  Residents are required to be at their school teaching during UD’s spring break.

You will have to repay the stipend to the district. Upon acceptance of the residency, you will need to sign a promissory note with the Delaware Department of Education that states you will repay your entire stipend should you not complete your three years of teaching in the state.

No, all resident candidates are welcome. However, having relatives that live in that area or securing housing near the district would make the commute easier.

Please contact Maya Constantine, maya@udel.edu in the Center for Excellence & Equity in Teacher Preparation if you have any other questions.