Governor Tom Wolf announced the Pennsylvania Department of Education has awarded $2.1 million in grants to 11 universities to support innovative teacher and school leader preparation programs designed to expand, diversify, and strengthen the commonwealth’s educator workforce. The grants represent the second year of funding for one of the nation’s most ambitious year-long educator residency initiatives.
“Many of our communities with the greatest needs also struggle to attract and retain teachers and school leaders, which directly impacts students,” said Governor Wolf. “These grants will allow our universities to provide advanced training to better prepare educators to serve in our most high-need areas.”
The universities and awards include:
Expansion Grant Awards – Funding may be used to provide financial support to teachers or principals who undergo a full year of clinical experience before earning their instructional or administrative certification.
- Lehigh University, Bethlehem – $298,665
- Robert Morris University, Moon Township – $199,416
- Millersville University, Millersville – $299,599
- University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia – $299,869
- Clarion University, Clarion – $74,598
- Drexel University, Philadelphia – $200,000
- Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana – $200,000
- Penn State Harrisburg, Middletown – $300,000
Planning Grant Awards – Planning grants are used to identify and develop strategies for embedding a full year of clinical residency experience within the teacher or school leader preparation program.
- Temple University, Philadelphia – $75,000
- Gannon University, Erie – $75,000
- Penn State Main Campus, State College – $75,000
Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera noted that increasing the number of collaborative field-based, practical educator preparation experiences was a priority recommendation within Pennsylvania’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Consolidated State Plan. He added that this year’s round of grants will ensure equitable, geographically balanced expansion of the initiative.
“Year-long clinical residency programs offer a greater level of involvement in classrooms and schools, providing novice teachers and principals with vital, hands-on experience that will make them better educators and will increase the likelihood that they remain in the profession,” he said. “This year, we’re expanding the scope to reach more areas of the state. Grant recipients involve both traditional and charter schools, and engage an array of partner local education agencies, from Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, to smaller urban districts, to rural districts in between.”
Clinical residency programs must be developed in partnership with at least one high-need local education agency (LEA) that serves high rates of historically underserved students or demonstrates chronic, multiple teacher shortages in key certification areas including special education and teaching English as a second language.