JCPS and UofL Expand Louisville Teacher Residency Program

Class Act extends aid to program that trains teachers for JCPS schools

May 18, 2023 — Thirty two students received their master’s degree this month and are headed to classrooms in Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) after completing the Louisville Teacher Residency (LTR) program. Up to 50 more students will be enrolled when the fourth class of LTR begins in June.

LTR is an innovative partnership between Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) and the University of Louisville (UofL) to increase the pool of diverse, highly-skilled teachers, particularly in low performing, urban schools. The program, the first of its kind in Kentucky, offers college graduates who did not major in education the opportunity to obtain a master’s degree and teaching certification in one year, in exchange for their commitment to teach in a high-needs JCPS school.

Several teacher residency graduates sitting

“UofL is deeply grateful for our partnership with Jefferson County Public Schools to implement a teacher residency program that recruits, retains and elevates future educators,” said Interim Dean at the College of Education and Human Development, Dr. Amy Lingo. “We are also deeply grateful to Class Act for their generous scholarship support, which has enabled us to expand the residency program this year and provide new opportunities for educators seeking careers in Early Childhood Education and Special Education. UofL’s innovative partnership with JCPS demonstrates our commitment to diversify the teacher workforce and is an extension of the university’s call to celebrate diversity, foster equity, and strive for inclusion.”

Nearly 37 percent of JCPS students are African American, yet just over 12 percent of its full-time teachers are black.

“When students identify with a teacher in their classroom it fosters a sense of belonging, promotes engaging interactions, and improves student outcomes,” said JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio.  “The Louisville Teacher Residency program strives to not just increase the number of minority and other high-needs teachers, but to make sure those teachers have the skills and experience they need to make a positive impact on our students.”

The 2023-24 LTR program begins in June, with a class of up to 50 residents. During the residency year, participants will spend four days a week in the classroom alongside JCPS master teachers, who will mentor them while the residents engage in hands-on teaching experiences.  During the summer and on Fridays, the residents will attend classes at UofL, and complete coursework co-designed by JCPS and the university. Participants will earn $30,000 plus benefits from JCPS during their residency then commit to work for five years in an Accelerated Improvement School (AIS) within JCPS. 

Candidates in the program can also get a boost from Class Act Credit Union, which committed up to $300,000 for scholarships and programming for the first three years of LTR and has committed to the same funding for another three years.

“Class Act is proud to support the Louisville Teacher Residency program by providing education about financial services to improve our community’s well-being,” said Lynn Huether, CEO of Class Act Credit Union. “Our collaborative efforts with the College of Education and Human Development, and Jefferson County Public Schools has allowed us to align the credit union philosophy of ‘people helping people’ and serving the ‘underserved’. The passion of the students has truly been an inspiration to us all at Class Act.”

LTR has also received a $50,000 grant from the National Center for Teacher Residencies, Black Educators Initiative to help its Black students with education costs. 

Individuals interested in applying for the LTR program should visit the JCPS website. Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree and at least a 2.75 GPA.  Participants need not be a minority to apply, though the district is prioritizing candidates in high-needs areas, including minority representation and math and science teachers.