Canisius College in Buffalo is ready to launch a new teacher residency program. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley say the college's Center for Urban Education will establish the program to prepare future educators.
“This really fits our mission not only a the college, but also at the Center for Urban Education to prepare quality teachers for our urban youth," said Jeff Lindauer, dean of the School of Education and Human Services at the college.
Canisius received a two-year grant from the Cullen Foundation. It's a local foundation and helps to fund programs that enhance education for students in pre-K-through 12th.
Lindauer tells WBFO the college will now be able to set up the Western New York Teacher Residency program. It’s similar to medical school residencies. The first year will be course work integrated with partner schools. The second year would be in the classroom for a full-year working alongside with a veteran teacher. It concentrates on childhood and special education for grades first through sixth.
“They’ll be placed with a master teacher and this a teacher who will have to go through an application process to be approved to sever as a mentor-teacher to them,” explained Lindauer.
It's a master’s program that will begin in the fall of next year with initially ten students.
“They’ll be in the program for two years and then they will have to commit to staying in a Buffalo school – a Western New York school – an urban school for three more years, so there is a commitment on the back end where schools are really hearing about retentions – this could help sever the need to keep more teachers in their schools so they don’t have to look for teachers all the time,” said Lindauer.
Canisius is partnering with six schools. All are charter schools. Lindauer says those charters already have a funding models in place so student teachers can receive a 'living wage' stipend.
“We’ve decided that that stipend in Western New York will be $20,000. The charter schools that we are working with so far are Tapestry Charter School, Westminster Community Charter School, Elmwood Village Charter School, West Buffalo Charter School and Global Concepts Charter School. And then we also have plans to work with Persistence Prep Academy which they will be starting in the fall of 2018,” Lindauer noted.
WBFO asked Lindauer if he believes the new residency program will also help schools address teacher shortages.
“Yes, it’s a direct result of just listening to partners schools about their needs. Now it is at the childhood level, so there’s not a huge need at the childhood level, but there is a big need to recruit candidates of color, so the schools have asked us, as part of a residency program, can we give special encouragement for candidates of color to apply. They’re also looking for males at the elementary level,” Lindauer stated. “We’re trying to be sensitive to the needs of our local school district hear in Buffalo and then the charters and privates as well to try to recruit students that have all the necessary dispositions that go into working in an urban school – they’re persistent, they’re resilient, they have high expectations for all students – these are the types of teachers that we want to be recruiting.”
Lindauer tells us they will be working to expand into public schools in the city of Buffalo and suburbs.