TUPELO • With grant funding from a state education foundation, Mississippi will develop the first state-run teacher residency program in the United States.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation granted $649,366 to the National Center for Teacher Residencies to develop a program which will be aimed at recruiting and retaining African American male teachers and helping teachers pursue national board certification.

According to a press release from the Mississippi Department of Education, this will be the first teacher residency program that is run by a U.S. state. MDE will oversee and operate the residency program when it is up and running.

The state department of education is currently interviewing prospective residents and decisions will be announced today. According to the department, more than 300 people have applied.

Mississippi State Superintendent of Education Carey Wright said there is a correlation between teacher retention and teacher residencies.

NCTR Founder and CEO Anissa Listak said the program is an opportunity to reach underserved students.

“States are increasingly recognizing the residency model as an effective way to address teacher shortages and to develop effective, committed educators for underserved communities,” Listak said.

The program will train 35 residents starting in the fall for the 2019-20 school year and another 35 teachers will be trained the following school year. The residency will be free for participants, who will additionally received a stipend during the residency year.

After completing the residency program, residents will receive a master’s degree and a job in a partner school district.

Since 2007, The National Center for Teacher Residencies has helped launch more than 35 teacher residency programs for high-need schools and classrooms in 18 states. The residency program pairs new teachers with trained mentor teachers and coaches for year-long apprenticeships in classrooms that are taken alongside college coursework.

According to NCTR’s website, teachers who were trained in the nonprofit organization’s residency program stayed in the classroom 86% of the time and were still teaching in the same school after three years, based on data from the 2017-18 school year.

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