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The CREC Teacher Residency Program, an alternate route to elementary certification program that embraces a different approach to attract and retain minority teacher candidates, is now accepting applications to its second cohort through March 6, 2020.

Last spring, the program was approved by the State Board of Education and the first cohort will finish their first year this June.

To prioritize minority candidates’ potential to work with diverse students and to reduce the time commitment and cost that traditional certification programs present, CREC developed the Teacher Residency program as a way to certify minority teachers over the course of two years while they serve in paid positions in CREC Schools. The residents, paid with benefits, as associate instructors are mentored by Master Teachers in their first year; and in the second year, residents are guaranteed a full-time position as a classroom teacher while they complete the elementary certification requirements.

“For far too long we have been trying to simply recruit more teachers of color, and what we decided is that we need to certify more teachers of color,” said Tim Sullivan, Superintendent of CREC Magnet Schools, upon the State’s approval of the program in May 2019. “So this program is designed to help overcome some of the obstacles that have kept people from getting certified and give them an opportunity to get certification and work in the schools. We are most excited for the opportunity to create teachers from our own schools, instead of trying to recruit them from elsewhere.”

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree, and preference is given to applicants of color who graduated from Hartford Public Schools, CREC Magnet Schools, or the Hartford Region Open Choice Program.

“I thought to myself, ‘Yes! Someone understands the financial obstacle and time constraint many people of color face while pursuing graduate school,’” said Cyemone Douglas, a resident in the first cohort, about her reaction to the program’s launch. “I always had a passion to teach, but time and financial constraints prevented me from pursuing my certification.”

Coursework is required of the residents in the summer, after school hours, and on weekends. Courses are all designed and delivered by practicing CREC educators and administrators, prioritizing skills necessary for successfully managing diverse classrooms.

Miguel Cardona, CT Commissioner of Education, visited Residents and Master Teachers at CREC Discovery Academy in Wethersfield in January to observe their classrooms and hear their insights on how successful the program can be for students and aspiring teachers.

More information and the application link can be found at