What is the year-long clinical residency?
The year-long clinical residency is a new alternative student teaching placement, piloted in the 2019-2020 academic year. While the traditional student teaching model comprises only one semester, the year-long residency places candidates as co-teachers in local partner schools for an entire academic year. Residency candidates, or “residents”, go to their placement schools three days per week during the fall semester and simultaneously working to complete their coursework. There is some flexibility in this schedule, but the expectation is to be in the school as much as possible while keeping up with course assignments. Residents remain in the same placement in the spring semester until the end of the partner school district’s academic year.
What happens after graduation if the resident is expected to stay in their placement through the end of the school year?
Graduation ceremonies will take place as scheduled, typically in early May. Residents will go through the graduation ceremony and earn their degree, then return to their placement to complete the school year. Our partners have agreed to pay residents a stipend to help offset costs for the extension of the residency semesters.
What are the advantages of the year-long clinical residency?
There are a number of important advantages in the year-long residency, including:
- More time in the same school and with the same mentor teacher all year;
- Greater opportunity to establish meaningful professional relationships with the students, teachers, administrators, and the school district’s surrounding community;
- An immersive experience affording more opportunities to develop confidence in teaching and managing classroom behavior;
- Opportunities to participate in school-based professional development;
- Opportunities for scholarships and stipends to offset tuition and other costs of attendance; and
- Finally, if residents show sufficient growth over the year, they will be interviewed for potential job openings within the district in which they are placed.
What should I do if I am interested in taking advantage of the year-long clinical residency?
STEP 1: If you are interested in the clinical residency, advance planning is important. The year-long residency falls during the seventh and eighth semesters. (We may considers a half-year residency for candidates who student teach in the fall semester.) Typically, the seventh semester comprises some required education courses that will be taken concurrently with your residency:
- Elementary Education candidates take a block of courses together each semester. Those candidates who are trying to add a second certificate area, e.g., ESL or Special Education, will probably have additional coursework to complete beyond the typical block of courses that others in the Elementary Education cohort are required to take. Thus, it is important to try to schedule the additional courses prior to your seventh semester, if possible. Doing so might mean taking 18 or 20 credits during semesters five and six, and/or adding a summer course or two.
- Secondary Education candidates usually have some content courses to complete in their final fall semester. Thus, it is important to try to schedule the program-related content courses prior to your seventh semester, if possible. Doing so might mean taking 18 or 20 credits during semesters five and six, and/or adding a summer course or two.
Tell your advisor prior to or at the start of semester five (when you begin your teacher education coursework) whether you are interested in the year-long clinical residency so that your academic plan can be adjusted, if possible.
STEP 2: The second step in the process is submitting an official application for the clinical residency during the sixth semester. Applications are made available to all prospective teacher candidates early in the sixth semester (February) and must be submitted by the established deadline. Applications are then reviewed by the Residency Placement Selection Committee as well as the partner school districts. Only those candidates whose dispositions, credentials and experiences demonstrate the best fit for the residency will be selected.
STEP 3: Candidates who are selected for the residency will be notified before the end of the sixth semester. Mentor teachers will also be identified before the end of the semester, so residents and mentor teachers can meet and begin to plan how they will communicate over the summer about getting the room set up, attending school and district in-service meetings, and the initial planning for the first weeks of school. Residents should expect to spend some time during summer break meeting, or at least talking by phone/Zoom, with the mentor teacher.
STEP 4: Residents will be sent email messages to their Penn State email address regarding important dates in August for co-teacher training and the beginning of the school year. Residents must make arrangements for their local housing to begin a bit earlier than other returning students.
Which local schools are partners with Penn State Harrisburg in the residency placements, and how were they selected?
Our partners include Steelton-Highspire (all schools), Middletown Area (all schools), Central Dauphin (South Side Elementary, Tri-Community Elementary, CD East Middle, CD East High, and Swatara Middle Schools only), and Harrisburg School District (Schools to be determined). All of these schools are partners due to their proximity to campus, their designation as a high needs school, and their diverse student populations. Penn State Harrisburg is grateful for partners who value the residency. Over time, we hope to expand partnerships even further.
Do I have a better chance at getting a job if I am in the residency?
Your chances for successful employment depend on many factors, most of those pertaining to the abilities a candidate shows, the opportunities that exist, and the willingness of a candidate to work where the job openings exist.
Residency candidates will have some advantages. The yearlong experience in itself will better prepare prospective teachers by exposing them to a wider range of teacher responsibilities and student growth patterns. Additionally, residents will have opportunities to substitute teach in their placement school before and after graduation; and if they show sufficient growth over the year, residents will be given an interview for potential job openings within the district.
* If you have further questions about the year-long clinical residency program, contact Dr. Jane Wilburne, Chair of Teacher Education, at [email protected] or Rebecca Ort, Certification Officer, at [email protected], or contact the Teacher Education Office at 717-948-6213.