Academics and Research / Magazine Feature

Denver Teacher Residency program to be awarded $8.2 million grant

Denver Public Schools  has received an $8.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to expand and broaden the program.

The money is for the Denver Teacher Residency program — a partnership with the Janus Alliance, Denver Public Schools and DU’s Morgridge College of Education, launched in 2009 — is the nation’s first district-based residency program and is modeled on medical residency programs. The five-year program includes a year-long classroom residency with a lead teacher, a DU master’s degree in curriculum and instruction and a four-year classroom teaching commitment. Its hands-on teacher preparation is designed to cultivate and support quality teachers in high-needs schools within the Denver school system.

“We are very proud of our partnership with DPS and the accomplishments of the [program],” says Gregory Anderson, Morgridge College dean. “The Morgridge College of Education is dedicated to further validating residency-based teacher education programs as well as scaling up the model to have greater impact locally, regionally and nationally.”

The $8,204,269 grant will be used to bring talented teachers to Denver, train them to serve in areas of critical need and cultivate and support special education and bilingual education. The program was one of 12 programs that will receive funds from a $100-million Teacher Quality Partnership grant aimed at raising student achievement by improving instruction. The grant is funded by the America Recovery and Reinvestment Act and will enable DU’s program to expand the work initiated through the Janus Alliance and deepen the district’s work to support the Denver plan. The residency program directly supports the district’s wider investment in the recruitment, development and retention of high quality teachers.

“There is no harder job than teaching in a school district with children living in poverty, but there is also not a more important job,” says U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, who helped secure the grant.

Starting with a group of 25 residents apprenticing in one of five Denver elementary schools —  Archuleta, Gust, Harrington, McMeen and Montclair — the program draws on DU’s experience in teacher preparation and educational leadership. The first group of residents will begin teaching this fall.

Ed. Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the grant’s recipient. The story has been changed to reflect the correct information.

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