TQP Residency Study: Graduates Feel More Prepared, Supported

A study of 30 teacher residency programs funded through the federal Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) Program finds that graduates of the residencies feel more prepared at the start of their careers and more supported during their time in the classroom than their same-district peers from other pathways.

The study, conducted by Mathematica Policy Research for the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, provides a succinct history of urban teacher residencies, outlines common program characteristics, and offers selected comparisons of TQP residency participants and their peers.

TQP grants call on programs to enroll teacher candidates with strong content knowledge and communication skills and who reflect the communities where they will teach. Interviews for the new study showed that most program directors addressed these requirements by seeking out underrepresented minorities and participants with particular high-need subject knowledge, and they used writing samples and interviews as the primary tools for screening candidates.

The TQP residencies seemed to attract more career-changers than other preparation programs, but they had similar average ages and similar proportions of minority and male candidates.

Compared to their non-TQP peers, residency graduates reported greater ongoing support from their preparation program and were more likely to say they felt prepared at the start of their career for creating lesson plans, assessing students, managing classroom challenges, and performing certain other tasks.

Overall, a majority of current residents said their clinical placements reinforce their course work and that their classes are well integrated with their classroom experiences, although these responses varied considerably by program.

Researchers also looked at graduates’ retention into the second and third year of teaching but found little difference between novice teachers from TQP residencies and those from other programs in the same districts.

TQP residencies’ effect on novice teacher retention is also being investigated by AACTE Research Fellows at William Paterson University, Kean University, and Rowan University in New Jersey. The Fellows’ study compares graduates of TQP residencies and several other pathways at the three institutions to determine factors affecting novice teachers’ persistence in the profession into at least their 4th year of teaching. This research, funded through AACTE’s Innovation Exchange, is expected to be completed next summer.

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