Park University Selected as College Partner for Kansas City Teacher Residency Program

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

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The Kansas City Teacher Residency has selected Park University as its college partner for its urban teacher residency program.

The KCTR is the result of a direct response to the challenge of teacher shortages in urban cities such as Kansas City. The program recruits, prepares, develops and supports effective teachers in classrooms across the area with a goal of helping students achieve strong academic gains by retaining exceptional teachers that reflect the rich diversity of the region. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is supporting the growth, development and sustainability of the KCTR in its first year.

“Park University was selected as a partner for the Kansas City Teacher Residency because of the innovative approach that the school embraces and holds dear, said Charles King, KCTR executive director. “Furthermore, I was drawn to the commitment that Park has to the Kansas City community, and the continued growth and development of the community in the years to come. The openness of Park University to truly partner with KCTR in the work will allow us to together set a tone where we can learn from one another in order to change the landscape of urban education teacher preparation.”

As the KCTR’s higher education partner, Park University will provide participants with graduate-level coursework in order to complete a Master of Education degree in early childhood education, elementary education or middle school education. The two-year program, for college graduates and professionals not currently in the teaching profession consists of a one-year intensive mentoring program and a combination of rigorous face-to-face and online courses that lead to the master’s degree. Following the residency year, graduates will be ready to effectively lead their own classrooms in high-need public schools in the Kansas City area. Those selected to participate in the program receive a $25,000 stipend for the residency year.

Urban teacher residency programs adapt the medical residency model to teacher preparation. Distinguished from traditional teacher training programs, urban teacher residencies have dramatically improved the amount of time and quality of teacher candidates’ clinical experiences, ensuring that residents are able to effectively serve students on day one.

“Park University is very excited to be a part of this important and groundbreaking initiative that will benefit pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students in the Kansas City area,” said Michelle Myers, Ed.D., dean of Park University’s School for Education.

According to Myers, the five-year retention rate for teachers going through the residency program is 80 percent. “The program significantly increases the diversity of the teaching pool and schools see noticeable gains in student achievement,” she added.

Individuals wishing to apply need to hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college/university with a minimum 2.8 overall grade point average and be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The application deadline for the initial cohort class of 25 residents is Friday, March 11, 2016, with the program beginning in June 2016. To apply or for more information, visit