Your Residency


Learn about teaching firsthand

Your year-long Residency experience begins in July with our summer session, taught over five days on the Western campus.  You are then matched with a mentor teacher in a K-12 school for one full year. In-state or out-of-state school placements are available.

While completing your Residency, you will have a network of support, receiving continuous feedback from your mentor teacher, regional coordinator and your Western instructors.

Your commitment

You are expected to spend 24 hours per week with in the class room with your teacher mentor.  In the spring, you will be required to increase your commitment to full-time for a minimum of 5 weeks.  You will follow the calendar of your placement school (i.e., begin the year on the day that new teachers report to work, take school holidays, etc).


To be recommended for elementary licensure, you must perform at “3, Proficiency” level in all relevant standard/standard elements in the classroom and earn a score of “3, Proficiency” on each standard element in the licensure electronic work sample. You must demonstrate the ability to apply the standard/standard element in an elementary classroom setting, assess student learning, and evaluate your own teaching performance. “3, Proficiency” is the level expected of well prepared, first-year teachers.

The mentor teachers

Master mentor teachers are selected carefully to ensure that Western students have strong models. The potential mentor teacher will self-assess his or her knowledge of the standards and standard elements. Students accepting residency placements are expected to successfully complete the year-long residency. Students who do not successfully complete the residency will be withdrawn from the Program and must appeal to the Selection and Retention Committee for re-admittance.

Mentor requirements:

  • Must hold a valid teaching license, in whichever area the candidate seeks licensure.
  • Must have taught for 3 or more years.
  • Must have taught for 2 or more years, in the present district.
  • Must teach in an accredited school.
  • Must be recommended by their principal.