The Accelerated Collaborative Teacher (ACT) Residency Program is a teacher education program designed for aspiring elementary, secondary, and special education teachers leading to a preliminary credential in the candidate's specialization area. Teacher residency programs have been specifically designed to provide high quality teachers in low-income urban schools and are based on a medical residency model in which professional coursework is paired with clinical experience. Research suggests that well-designed and well-implemented residency programs yield long-term benefits by providing highly qualified teachers, particularly prepared to serve low-income diverse urban schools. Moreover, studies have shown that residency programs have greater gender and racial diversity and higher teacher retention rates after three years than other programs.
As a residency program, ACT is guided by the following residency principles:
- Strong district/university partnerships
- Progression through the program as a cohort to foster a learning community and collaboration
- Full-year teaching alongside an experienced, trained mentor
- Education theory and classroom practice tightly woven together
- Ongoing mentoring and support by the ACT community (e.g., program coordinators, university faculty and supervisors, mentor teachers and the ACT cohort)
While the programs for the three specialization areas share common features, each program also differs from the others in significant ways. Please refer to the information provided in the website for your specialization area and contact the appropriate ACT Program Coordinator for additional assistance.