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Residency Program to Prepare Teachers for Special-Needs Students

Teachers College at Columbia University is developing a residency program for teachers to work in high-needs schools in New York City while earning a master's degree.

The 14-month-long program will have a focus on teachers working with students with disabilities and students with ESL needs. The program, called Teaching Residents at Teachers College, will be funded by a $9.75 million, five-year federal grant, the university recently announced.

The program will recruit academically talented, diverse individuals from under-represented groups such as returning Peace Corps volunteers, veterans from the Armed Forces, and people making mid-career changes. Residents will receive a substantial scholarship to Teachers College, plus a $22,500 annual stipend and health insurance, according to the university.

"Students will be placed full-time in classrooms, but--unlike alternative-certification programs--not as the teacher of record," A. Lin Goodwin, Teacher College's associate dean for teacher education and school-based support, said in a statement about the program. "They will be apprentices, working alongside an experienced teacher for a year."

The residents will also do graduate coursework, professional study, and education activities that are closely connected to the classroom practice.

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