In the 2014-15 school year, Citizen Schools, in partnership with UMASS Boston and the Lloyd G. Balfour Foundation, launched the Citizen Schools Teacher Residency (CSTR), a program designed to increase equitable access to effective teachers for low-income and high-need students in Citizen Schools Massachusetts’ partner districts. The program combines teaching in an expanded day setting, as part of the Citizen Schools AmeriCorps Teaching Fellowship, with mentorship and coursework that allows participants a pathway to teacher certification and a Master's Degree in education from UMASS Boston upon graduation.
Since its launch, of 18 total program participants, 94% of participants have graduated, and 76% of graduates are currently teaching in high-need districts in Massachusetts, including Boston, Chelsea, Lawrence and Springfield. Other graduates have gone on to teach in high-need districts in California, teach English in Mexico as a Fulbright Scholar, and lead a classroom at an educational nonprofit in Boston. To date, Teaching Fellow Residents have helped to close the achievement gap for approximately 595 students through a combination of observational and instructional time in the school-day classroom with their mentor teachers; and extended day instruction, volunteer support, and parent/guardian engagement.
Massachusetts school leaders report that graduates of the CSTR offer many of the qualities they seek in teachers, including diverse backgrounds; the ability to build deep and trusting relationships with students; expertise in project-based learning; experience in engaging families and volunteers; a desire for continuous improvement based on data; and commitment to serving in high-need communities.
In the current 2016-17 school year, eight Teaching Fellows are currently enrolled in the program at three partner sites, including the Orchard Gardens K-8 Pilot School in Roxbury, the McCormack Middle School in Dorchester, and the Joseph Browne Middle School in Chelsea, MA.