Aspiring teachers with a Bachelor’s degree now have a new pathway to the profession: the Albuquerque Teacher Residency Partnership (ATRP), a renewed collaboration between The University of New Mexico (UNM), Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) and the Albuquerque Teachers Federation (ATF).

Teaching is a profession that requires intensive preparation and support. The single most important in-school factor for student achievement is teacher quality. To address this issue, The UNM College of Education partnered with APS and ATF, with support from the National Center for Teacher Residencies (NCTR), to create the Albuquerque Teacher Residency Partnership or ATRP. Teacher Residents in the program will receive intensive mentoring from Master Teachers in APS classrooms, while completing their NM Teaching License and, if they choose, a Master’s degree.

The mission of the ATRP is to recruit, prepare and retain what every student deserves – competent, caring and qualified teachers. The program integrates rigorous academic coursework and theory with ongoing clinical experiences so teachers are well prepared to inspire students, empower learning and work within diverse communities. The ATRP will guide transformative experiences, shape teacher practice, affirm the cultural identities of both teachers and students and work to build a more just society.

“Reimagining teacher preparation programs is of paramount importance as expectations for students and teachers continue to rise,” said Professor Viola Florez, PNM Endowed Chair, & Emeritus Dean, UNM College of Education. “Despite this, most teacher candidates in the U.S. still graduate from programs that provide, on average, only sixteen weeks of clinical practice before certification. The research is clear: Aspiring teachers need more support.”

The partnership was established last year with a shared vision of educating high-potential, aspiring teachers who are invested in making a measurable and sustainable change toward equal education. All three entities will work closely to support each other and the teacher candidates to ensure recruiting and placement of high-quality future educators from the spark of inspiration to the moment our new teachers set foot in their own classrooms.

APS will oversee the overall implementation of the program in alignment with the partner agreements. UNM will facilitate the placement and education of teacher candidates, and award Master's degrees to graduates, while ATF will sustain the partnership work through the process of candidate education in conjunction with the APS Board of Education.

As part of the program, an annual cohort of 25 Teacher Residents will be selected and provided a living stipend that covers the cost of Elementary or Secondary licensure and optional Master’s degree. Each Resident will receive intensive mentoring from APS Master teachers and UNM faculty in local community schools that provide support from principals, parents and the neighborhood communities. All Residents are guaranteed a job with APS upon successful completion of the program.

This partnership began last summer, when APS and UNM were one of four new school district-serving partnerships selected to launch teacher residency programs with the National Center for Teacher Residencies (NCTR) as part of its U.S. Department of Education Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) federal grant.

Each partnership received a $500,000 grant to participate in NCTR’s innovative two-year New Site Development Program, a consulting program designed to develop the core components of an effective residency. The total grant support from NCTR to selected recipients totals nearly $2 million. The new residencies will join NCTR’s two previous cohorts of partners participating in the SEED program. Since October 2015, NCTR has been awarded $11.7 million by the U.S. Department of Education as part of an initiative to support great teaching and Leadership.

Applications for Cohort One are currently being accepted. For best consideration, potential residents should apply by April 13, 2018.

For more information, visit the ABQTeach website.