Three-year funding for the Oswego Residency Initiative for Teacher Education expires in August. But the positive effects of the clinically rich O-RITE model are being felt by the 31 participants, secondary students and mentors in high-need placement schools, and faculty in the department of curriculum and instruction.
Barbara Garii, school of education associate dean, and Anneke McEvoy, O-RITE project manager, say success has exceeded expectations. At program end, two classes of graduate students will have earned dual certification in special education and secondary science, math, or teaching English as a second or other language, and they will teach in high-need schools. They have participated in a 13-month program, including online coursework taken while engaged in two 20-week school placements, and a series of cohort-building campus residencies.
Federal Race to the Top funding provided $10,000 to cover tuition plus stipends of $30,000 for each participant. “The intense demands on their time required the stipend,” Garii says. “They were fully engaged for more than 180 days in classroom placements, then they spent evenings in online classes and weekends meeting academic requirements.”
McEvoy says O-RITE builds on Oswego’s history of training students to “teach where they’re needed most.”
The challenge now is to find ways to retain the positive aspects of the program. Among them are:
Graduate students received daily support from mentor teachers as they develop meaningful relationships with school communities.
Mentors benefitted from the candidates’ current, creative pedagogy.
Faculty who observed O-RITE are now considering expanded clinical components in existing programs.
Oswego School of Education alumni are supporting teacher candidates in clinically rich programs across the state.
Oswego faculty members participated through online teaching.
Dual certification means O-RITE teachers will support learning for all students.
McEvoy says the most important take-away of O-RITE will be felt in the secondary schools where the graduates teach.
“We are confident that each of them is going to have a tremendously positive influence in the classroom,” she says.
— Linda Loomis ’90 M’97