SUNY Oswego awarded $553,448 to pilot innovative teacher preparation

The state Education Department awarded Oswego $553,448 in Race to the Top funding for an intensive teacher preparation program in high-need schools that also will enhance the college’s model of undergraduate teacher education.

The grant will enable SUNY Oswego’s School of Education to partner with the Syracuse City School District to deliver a pilot program to include a semester-long, full-time teaching residency for undergraduates in teaching English to speakers of other languages, or TESOL.

Pat Russo ’72 co-directs the grant with fellow Oswego education professors Jean Ann and Bruce Long Peng, who have guided development of TESOL at the college for 14 years. Russo said the program’s “clinically rich” teacher preparation model may be modified over time, but ultimately would serve as a template for training science, mathematics, social studies and other student educators.

“We are excited about this award,” Russo said. “At SUNY Oswego, we have been regularly improving our teacher preparation programs for 150 years. This grant will provide the resources for us to make a significant transition into the next generation of teacher preparation.”

The main goal of the intensive on-site teacher preparation provided by the TESOL pilot is to improve the academic achievement of K-12 English language learners. But Russo pointed out the experience is also designed to benefit the SUNY Oswego students selected for the program, their teacher-mentors in Syracuse schools and SUNY Oswego faculty who will go into the classroom to work with teachers and pre-teachers.

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