What is a high-needs and hard-to-staff school?

A high-needs and hard-to-staff school is a school that may consist of many factors such as, but not limited to, unfilled teaching positions, non-certified teachers, high teacher turnover rate, and/or a high population of students who come from families with income below the poverty line.

Why consider a teacher residency program instead of the traditional teacher route?

“Completing a traditional program of teacher education as preparation for working in (urban, high-need schools) is like preparing to swim the English channel by doing laps in the university pool.” – Dr. Martin Haberman

Preparation matters. Teachers who are unprepared in curriculum, teaching methods, child development, and student teaching, leave at twice the rate of teachers who have had this training. A teacher residency program integrates research with practice to equip residents with the knowledge, skills, and experience to be prepared and effective teachers in high-needs and hard-to-staff classrooms.

What are the other perks of RTR?

In addition to stipends, there are scholarship opportunities.

All math and science residents will receive an additional $4,000 stipend.

All  residents who serve Petersburg City Public Schools will receive an additional housing stipend of $382 a month for 15-months as long as the residents live in Petersburg.

All residents may receive free VCLA tutoring.

All residents may receive testing vouchers for their respective tracks to cover the costs of tests.

When is the best time to apply for RTR?

It is best to apply in the fall. In the spring, we fill our remaining openings.

When are the application deadlines?

Fall: For fall applicants, RTR applications are due by October 30, 2020.

Spring: For spring applicants, RTR applications are due by March 1, 2021.

How do I receive Testing Vouchers?

You will receive testing vouchers after you have RSVPd for Selection Day.

When should I test?

After you receive your testing vouchers.

While you wait for Selection Day, you can still use this time for test prep.  Studying seems to be the key to satisfying tests the first time around.

Where do I find Test Prep info?

Look underneath our Application Process for a tab at the top marked, “TEST PREP”.  Schedule your test prep as soon as possible. We offer test prep sessions online under our You Tube Channel (TeachRTR) as well as through face-to-face sessions during the year.

When should I apply to VCU?

You should apply to VCU within a week of applying to RTR.

Is admission to RTR like other graduate programs?

Not even close. We support you through the admissions process to discern your call to teach in high-needs and hard-to-staff schools. Expect to communicate with us often. We want to answer your questions and position you to be successful in this process.

What is Site Visitation Day?

Site Visitation Day is an optional opportunity to visit our school division partners. We have four district partners: Chesterfield County Public Schools; Henrico County Public Schools; Petersburg City Public Schools, and Richmond Public Schools.

What is Selection Day?

Selection Day is a required opportunity for you to show your passion for teaching. This day consists of teaching a 5-minute prepared mini-lesson before students, providing a writing sample, completing a personal interview, and interacting with current residents.

How soon will I know whether I am offered a resident position?

You will be notified about two to three weeks after Selection Day.

What happens if I cannot pass the testing?

You will be deferred to next year’s cohort and we will continue to work with you on test preparation.

When is my stipend disbursed?

Your stipend is disbursed in late June, early September, and early January. The last two times are after the add/drop deadline of each semester.

Can I work during my residency year?

We do not encourage working during your residency year because this is a rigorous program. We want what little time you have to be spent on you — working out, sleeping, and spending time with your family and friends.

Will I receive in-state tuition even if I am not a Virginia Resident?

Yes!

What courses will I need to register for and when are they offered?

Your admissions team will already have given you a heads-up about any additional courses you may need for licensure when they reviewed your transcript. Then in the early summer, you will meet with your Curriculum Coordinator to map out your full schedule.

Will I get to choose my Clinical Resident Coach (mentor teacher)?

Yes and no. During the summer, we host a matching party that will give you an opportunity to meet our Clinical Resident Coaches (CRCs). This will allow us to match you with a CRC who best suits your needs.

When will I meet my CRC and find out where I will be placed for my residency year?

We typically notify residents in July after the matching parties. That way you will know the name of your CRC and the school you will be serving.

When will be my first day as a co-teacher/teaching resident?

You will begin school on the same day as your CRC. This usually occurs the third week in August.

Other questions?

Feel free to contact our Admissions Team via email at AgursL@vcu.edu.

If you are passionate about social justice — about teaching for change — about changing lives, communities, and student outcomes — then RTR is where you need to be.