Partnership Gives Potential Teachers More Opportunities

The Dallas Teacher Residency program has partnered with the Texas A&M University-Commerce Teacher Residency Program to provide an avenue for teacher candidates who already have bachelor’s degrees to obtain certification and a master’s degree. It is a partnership between public schools, sponsors, and is under mentors.

“Having mentors is a more supported situation,” Dr. Martha Foote, professor and head, department of curriculum & instruction, said.

“I have been here 20 years, and I believe we (Texas A&M-Commerce) have the best teacher education system,” she said.

The program has been around for one year and has just witnessed the first successful graduating class in the summer of 2015. The students in the residency program take 10 graduate courses and the teacher exam.

A certification exam is required to learn the basics of how to teach, a PBR exam and a general content exam. A different content is required based on the material that the student wants to teach. Students are also have mentors who guide them through the course as they often gain close relationships.

“The idea of having a mentor is a great piece,” Foote said. “Helping them with planning, that helps them move into the role they need to be placed in.”

There are seminars in the Dallas area where course work is discussed and faculty members are present to help students attending. The residency program also has sponsors and a stipend to be provided and distributed among the students.