The Texas Education Agency recently designated Texas A&M University-Commerce with the Vetted Teacher Residency distinction along with nine other programs in Texas.
Sherri Harwell, director of the Office of Educator Certification and Academic Services at A&M-Commerce, lead efforts to secure the designation.
“The Department of Curriculum and Instruction at A&M-Commerce is tirelessly driven to provide world-class preparation for educators,” Harwell said. “It's a joy to assist them from the certification office as part of that process.”
She continued: “It is an honor to have our transformative teacher residency program recognized by the TEA. We are excited for this opportunity to deepen our partnerships with school districts and continue to implement innovative clinical experiences for our preservice teachers.”
Programs are selected through a rigorous application process. Qualifying programs must offer high-quality, yearlong teacher residency programs that pair teaching candidates with experienced, highly effective mentor teachers for a full year of clinical training or co-teaching in K-12 classrooms, with a minimum of three days per week.
Dr. Kathryn V. Dixon, associate professor of curriculum and instruction at A&M-Commerce, said the department is honored and excited to receive the designation.
“With help from the University-School Partnerships for the Renewal of Educator Preparation program (US PREP), we have made substantial strides in transforming our educator preparation program to realize our vision for preparing teacher candidates to meet the needs of their K-12 students from their very first day on the job,” Dixon said. “This is a natural and much-needed next step in meeting our joint goal of preparing and retaining highly qualified K-12 teachers in Texas.”
A&M-Commerce is currently working with several school district partners to investigate grant opportunities related to the Vetted Teacher Residency distinction.