Residency and Alternative Pathway Program Director
National Louis is a 130+ year old university that has been grounded in the values of innovation, access, and excellence from its inception. As an institution we believe in providing access to educational opportunity and that education is our greatest lever for social and economic mobility. We are a student focused community that is committed to continuous improvement and asks how do we become more “student ready” so that we may better serve our students. We believe that through education we are able to empower change and build healthy communities. Our community works hard in the service of students and supports one another like a family.
To be effective, teacher preparation programs require close, ongoing collaboration between district and university partners, at all levels of the partnership. In residency programs, this collaborative role is essential to ensure alignment across institutions and day-to-day support for residents, mentor teachers and faculty.
NLU has created a new Residency and Alternative Pathway Programs Director to lead the coordination of these complex initiatives. Reporting to the Director of Teacher Preparation with significant interaction with the Dean and University leadership, the Director will work across all stakeholders to ensure that residency and alternative programs are designed and implemented effectively and efficiently.
This is a staff position with a concurrent faculty appointment as assistant professor. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to, and is expected to, teach in the program.
NLU’s National College of Education prepares exemplary teachers – ready for the classroom with sound grounding in the core practices essential to effective teaching, and the knowledge, skills and tools to grow in their chosen fields. NLU offers a number of pathways for qualified individuals to pursue careers as licensed teachers, including BA and MAT programs in early childhood, elementary, middle grades and secondary education, as well as special education. On multiple campuses, in blended format and on-line, NLU partners with schools and districts across the Chicago region to meet their highest priority human capital needs.
As part of its commitment to preparing transformational educators, NLU has pioneered residency programs that provide teacher candidates with in-school preparation alongside experienced educators while completing university coursework and maintaining district employment. Our residency programs model tight collaboration between classroom teacher (mentor), school and district with the university to ensure the teacher preparation program is rigorous, relevant and personalized. With its partners, NLU has developed the residency model with particular attention to providing opportunities for paraprofessionals and teaching assistants, and others currently employed in schools and districts. We have also focused the launch of the program on bilingual educators, to help meet a significant need in our schools for certified bilingual teachers.
During the residency teacher preparation year, the resident is typically in the classroom under the supervision of the mentor teacher for four days per week, and in university classes one day per week. Gradual release allows residents to gain confidence and skill in the classroom. At the end of the first year, the resident completes initial licensure requirements and degree. The CPS/NLU residency, designed for bilingual educators, includes a second year where the resident occupies a teacher-of-record position and completes his/her masters degree and additional special education or ESL/Bilingual Education coursework.
NLU currently offers three residency program opportunities which we seek to sustain and expand:
• with Chicago Public Schools (elementary and early childhood bilingual education)
• with East St. Louis School District 189 (elementary education)
• with the Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL), in AUSL operated CPS schools.
In addition, NLU is launching, with Teach for America (TFA), an alternative teacher licensure program in early childhood education for Chicago Public Schools, with placements in Pre-K and K settings.
NLU faculty have worked closely with district partners over several years to refine our residency model. We have an opportunity to deepen and broaden our work, to help address critical needs for new teachers from the community.
The Director works closely with experts across the university, partner districts, and other stakeholders to accomplish the following:
● Coordinates with district and school personnel to support the design, development, and implementation of a high-quality residency program
● Collaborates with university and district partners to develop and deliver competency-based curricula aligned to appropriate standards and assessments
● Supports innovative approaches to use of technology in candidate and mentor teacher coaching and support
● Leads partner organizations in clearly defining what candidates should know and be able to do across multiple program tracks (including elementary bilingual, early childhood bilingual and special education)
● Serves as principal liaison among residency partners to ensure program alignment across coursework and the clinical experience
● Revises the gradual release of teaching responsibility matrix, and ensure fidelity of implementation
● Creates system(s) for managing performance data to allow for data-driven instruction and coaching and to drive continuous program improvement
● Participates in mentor and training site recruitment and selection process to ensure high-quality placements for all residents
● Designs and implements scope and sequence for mentor professional development, classroom-based support, and evaluation
● Supports the recruitment and oversight of clinical coaches/supervisors
● Ensures collaboration and coordination across coursework instructors, training site staff, clinical coaches/supervisors, and mentor teachers regarding resident performance, progress, and needs
● Works across multiple departments within the university (i.e. admissions, financial aid, etc.) to ensure partners have clarity on program scope, sequence, tuition, and other key logistical aspects in a timely manner
● Minimum of master’s degree in a closely related field
● Minimum of 7 years of relevant professional experience in the field of education
● Previous teaching, mentoring, and teacher educator experience, preferably in an urban setting
● Passionate about education reform and innovative teacher preparation programs
● Excellent problem-solving and analytical skills
● Highly collaborative
● Outstanding communication skills, both written and verbal
● Ability to navigate a complex inter-institutional partnership
● Strong project management and team management skills
● Commitment to equity, access and quality, and ability to help lead in areas of diversity, equity, inclusion and culture/context