The Residency Experience

Learning firsthand

Western's Residency model immerses you in a yearlong teaching experience, allowing you to directly apply coursework in the classroom and learn firsthand what is currently happening in education. This experience often serves as a 'yearlong interview' - many Western students are later hired by the school in which they completed their Residency. 

Your Residency experience begins in the summer with five days on the Western campus for a meaningful, face-to-face orientation experience.  You are then matched with a mentor teacher or principal in a K-12 school for one full year. In-state, out-of-state or foreign 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

Teacher licensure candidates are expected to spend 24 hours per week in the classroom with their assigned mentor.  At least 20 of those hours should be in the learning environment with students. 

In the spring, this commitment increases to full-time lead teaching for five consecutive weeks (200 hours minimum). Principal licensure candidates will spend 7-8 hours per week with working in their mentor principal's office.

Residents follow the calendar of their placement school, beginning the year on the day that new teachers report to work, take school holidays, etc.  

Residents and mentors work together in collaborative and co-teaching structures throughout the year. Initially, the resident/mentor team is collaborating while the mentor teaches and the resident assists.  As the year progresses, the resident/mentor team continues to collaborate, but the resident assumes more teaching responsibilities.

If you are hired as a para/assistant during your Residency, you will need to create a schedule showing how you will meet the requirements of your Residency.  The schedule will be reviewed and approved by your mentor, the principal, and our mentor coordinator.

The mentors

Mentor teachers and principals are selected to ensure that Western students have strong models. The potential mentor will self-assess his or her knowledge of standards. Approved mentors will receive a compensation package for their work.

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.

Our mentors are paid more than comparable programs so that our students can expect the highest level of support.

  • Residency Track Mentors teachers receive $500 per student each semester and continuing education credit, or 2 credits of graduate-level coursework credit per semester
  • Alternative Licensure Mentors receive $250 per student each per semester and continuing education credit, or 1 credit of graduate-level coursework credit per semester
  • Principal Mentors receive $375 per student each semester and continuing education credit or 1 credit of graduate-level coursework credit per semester