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Partnership with NYCDOE Provides Powerful Experiences for GSE Pre-Service Teachers


Fordham’s Graduate School of Education (GSE) is participating in a powerful partnership with the New York City Department of Education’s (NYCDOE) New York City Teaching Academies (NYCTA). The academies were initially developed in 2016 to provide career preparation for pre-service teachers in some of the city’s highest priority schools, districts, and teacher certification areas.

GSE Director of Field-Based Education and Accountability Karen Andronico explains, “One of my major goals for Fordham GSE’s participation in the NYCTA is to develop even stronger partnerships with the NYCDOE schools, particularly because many of our student teachers have been placed in or are now employed as teachers in some of the city’s highest-need school districts. As a 31-year NYCDOE veteran teacher and assistant principal, I can attest that the NYCTA is a model internship that results in producing pre-service teacher candidates who are prepared to teach a diverse population of students when they graduate. We are extremely proud to have students participating in the spring 2022 teaching academies cohort.”

With the support of the NYCDOE, each of the high-need, high-performing NYC K-12 public schools serving as NYCTA sites create clinically rich training environments for cohorts of five or more pre-service teachers as they complete their clinical preparation. The clinically rich environment includes daily coaching, mentoring, and guidance from trained teaching academy staff at host schools, and is specifically designed to support pre-service teachers’ preparation for the complex challenges of teaching in the city’s public schools.

Schools that qualify to serve as sites in the NYCTA program offer classroom teachers the opportunity to apply to serve as Teacher Development Facilitators (TDFs). Once selected, TDFs are trained to host pre-service teachers in their classrooms for a full semester. Their training focuses on the foundational coaching, observation, and feedback skills required to effectively support student teachers, and covers topics such as the instructional coaching cycle, building relationships, and gradual release of classroom responsibility. During the teaching academy semester, the pre-service teachers themselves engage in immersive classroom experiences, working daily alongside their assigned TDFs while receiving ongoing individualized coaching and feedback. As they gain experience, teacher candidates gradually assume greater independence and responsibility for lesson design and delivery.

The current NYCTA program runs from January 24 – June 3, 2022, and includes pre-service teachers who were selected based upon qualifications that align with the prioritized NYC school districts with the highest needs. Teacher candidate qualifications include:

  • Commitment to student teach four-five days per week for the full spring semester;
  • Preference for candidates who are working to be certified in high-priority areas such as special education, math, science, bilingual education, and English as a New Language (ENL).
  • Completion of the NYCDOE’s New Teacher Application during the spring semester.

Colleges and universities that place their teacher candidates in NYCTA schools benefit from:

  • An opportunity to build or deepen relationships with various NYCDOE schools and districts;
  • The assurance of knowing that the principals who have opted to host the program are invested in the process, aware of the requirements, and committed to the pre-service teachers’ success;
  • The knowledge that pre-service teachers are being supported by vetted and trained teachers who are also being compensated;
  • Established, clear lines of communication with each NYCTA school site and with NYCDOE central staff;
  • A $2,500 stipend to support each pre-service teacher who applies and is accepted into the program (currently available for the next school year).

Thus, a comprehensive community of stakeholders supports teaching academy schools: committed school leaders; university and college staff; and NYCDOE central offices. In turn, the program provides a supportive and authentic environment for pre-service teachers to train, hone their skills, and build relationships with NYC students on their journeys to becoming NYC educators.

As part of this partnership at Fordham GSE, Andronico reaches out to all student teachers to make them aware of this opportunity. She emphasizes that because teacher candidates who participate in the academy are “serving the most underrepresented students and their communities, the experience is also closely aligned with GSE’s mission of social justice.”

“I am thrilled that five GSE student teachers were accepted into this year’s cohort of the NYCDOE teaching academy,” stated GSE dean José Luis Alvarado, Ph.D. “These students have a particularly rich and meaningful opportunity to do their student teaching in specific high needs schools in the Bronx and Brooklyn, receive a $2,500 stipend, and participate in rigorous, NYCDOE-supported professional development.”

Max Chang, an NYCDOE manager of university partnerships, notes, “We are excited about supporting Fordham GSE pre-service teachers as they finalize their certification requirements and get ready to take on their own classrooms. The real-life and supportive experiences they receive through NYC Teaching Academies truly prepare them for the rigors of teaching in NYC schools and communities.” Chang adds, “We also see the significant value for the TDFs, who benefit by learning from and building relationships with new teachers while imparting the knowledge, practice, and coaching to support them. In these ways, NYCTAs are truly a community effort in teacher preparation, and we’re thrilled to share this opportunity with Fordham GSE students.”


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