Program aims to recruit, train and hire teachers for high needs schools
February 6, 2020 — Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) and the University of Louisville (UofL) today announced the launch of the Louisville Teacher Residency (LTR) program, an innovative partnership 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.
“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 LTR program kicks off in June, with an inaugural class of 30 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.
“The University of Louisville is honored to partner with Jefferson County Public Schools to implement the first teacher residency program in the commonwealth,” said UofL Provost Beth Boehm. “UofL is committed to preparing high quality educators to meet the district’s needs and to improving P-12 student achievement. The Louisville Teacher Residency program is a unique opportunity for UofL and JCPS 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.
Candidates in the program can also get a boost from Class Act Credit Union, which is committing up to $300,000 over three years for $3,000 scholarships to participants, and funding assistance for faculty evaluations and programming.
“Class Act Federal Credit Union full heartedly believes in this JCPS initiative,” said Lynn Huether, CEO of Class Act Credit Union. “As a local credit union founded by educators, we continue to look for unique opportunities that not only support the education community, but that also further the progress of providing exceptional programs and leaders for our youth. We support JCPS and look forward to seeing what these scholarships help to accomplish.”
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.