Mission

The Urban Teaching Residency (UTR) will prepare teacher candidates to become outstanding educators prepared to serve in Philadelphia high-need schools.  Urban Teaching Residents will graduate as highly skilled teachers of reading, experienced in working in urban schools and attuned to issues of social justice.

Key Components:

  • Year long residency:  Residents are full members of a Host School team, working with the same students and teachers all year long allowing them to take on a much greater amount of responsibility than is typical in undergraduate student teaching. Residents teach a modified schedule to make time for their graduate coursework, spending about 2/3 of each school day teaching (typically ending by 1pm). Residents are embedded with the staff at the Host School and attend summer training, participate in grade level meetings, and conduct report card conferences.
  • IDA accredited program: SJU is one of only 16 programs across the country and the only one in Pennsylvania that is accredited by the International Dyslexia Association as meeting their Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading.  Graduates of IDA accredited programs are recognized by hiring schools, as being truly prepared to teach all students to read.
  • Social Justice focus: Work in our high-needs schools requires teachers who understand the issues of poverty and racism, and can work effectively and thoughtfully with students, parents and the community.  Graduate students in the UTR Program participate in a series of Social Justice seminars through the Faith-Justice Institute, led by Dr. Keith Magee (see Advisory Board).
  • Philadelphia high needs schools: Host Schools include high-need schools within Philadelphia – traditional public, parochial and charter.  Host Schools are reviewed and approved by the UTR leadership as suitable for year-long residencies.  Qualified Host Schools utilize 1) a research-based approach to reading instruction, 2) ongoing assessments to differentiate and individualize instruction, and 3) leadership and school culture that support teaching every child at their own level.
    • 2015/16 School Year – Two Host Schools: KIPP Philadelphia Elementary Academy (K-4) and KIPP Philadelphia Charter School (5-8).  KIPP, or the Knowledge is Power Program, currently serves over 59,000 students nationwide.  KIPP Philadelphia Schools is part of this national network of open-enrollment, college-preparatory public charter schools.
    • 2016/17 and beyond – Schools in development include traditional public schools, charter schools and parochial schools in Philadelphia.
  • Potential for Scholarships: The UTR is committed to attracting a diverse, committed and skilled group of teachers for Philadelphia’s Schools. To that end, the UTR works to provide scholarships for the residents, so that they can then give their full attention to their residency and course work. For the 2015/16 School Year, the Philadelphia School Partnership generously provided a scholarship for each resident that covers the cost of tuition plus a stipend. Although the availability of scholarships cannot be assured each year, the UTR will make every effort to provide financial support to the UTR residents. Please check back for updates on scholarship funding for the 2016/17 School Year.