Residency Program Quick Facts

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Gain a full academic year of clinical practice under the guidance of a mentor teacher

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1-2 years to complete, 3-5 years of employment with your residency host

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Cohort of fellow teacher residents to support you

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A stipend and a variety of financial resources, including grants (Federal TEACH, Golden State Teacher, Cal Grant Teaching Credential Program)


Teacher residency programs are inspired by the medical school approach to training doctors, where instruction and practice are combined. Starting after you earn your bachelor’s degree, as a teacher resident you’ll be teaching alongside an experienced mentor teacher for at least one full school year in the district where you’ll ultimately serve as teacher of record, all while completing coursework to earn your Preliminary credential. Residency programs are collaboratively administered through a credential program and a local educational agency (a school district, county office of education or charter school).  


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Distinct Advantages

  • Residents are more likely than teacher candidates in other pathways to report feeling well-prepared and well-supported by their program over time.1
  • Teachers who have completed a residency tend to remain at work in local classrooms longer than peers who chose other pathways.2
  • Residency programs tend to attract a more diverse pool of teacher candidates.3
  • You will receive financial support to cover tuition and expenses during your time in the classroom—and some programs provide the opportunity to earn a master’s degree. 
  • You’ll teach as part of a cohort of fellow residents who can learn from and support one another.
  • Residencies are designed to provide immediate employment for which residents are prepared following program completion. 

Key Considerations

  • There is a service commitment to your residency employer of 3–5 years beyond the program.
  • For residents participating in the California Teacher Residency Grant Program, if you do not earn your Preliminary credential or complete the period of your placement, you will have to reimburse the amount of grant funding that was invested in your residency training.

Financial Support

A wide variety of financial resources can help make any pathway you choose affordable. Learn how to fund your future in teaching with financial planning steps for every aspiring educator and sample funding packages if you're considering a California-based teacher residency program.

For example, candidates in a residency program are eligible to apply for public funds such as the Federal TEACH Grant, the Golden State Teacher Grant, and the Cal Grant Teaching Credential Program. Depending on your personal situation and your residency employer, you may qualify for additional resources, which can include reduced/forgiven tuition costs and university fees, health benefits, family care, and housing stipends.

Search a comprehensive database of funding resources to create your own financial plan.

Find Your Residency Program

This dashboard shows the Commission-approved institutions offering residency programs. Filter using the legend to narrow down the list and find the program that's best for you. You can also navigate to an institution's website by clicking on the name and using the link in the tooltip.


  1. Silva et al (2014). Teaching residency programs: A multisite look at a new model to prepare teachers for high-need schools (NCEE 2015-4002). Washington, DC: Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education.; Sloan et al (2018). A Different, More Durable Model: Hunter College Urban Teacher Residency Project. New Visions for Public Schools.

  2. Goldhaber et al (2022). Room for improvement? Mentor teachers and the evolution of teacher preservice clinical evaluations, American Educational Research Journal 59(5), pp. 1011-1048.; Papay et al (2012). Does an urban teacher residency increase student achievement? Early evidence from Boston, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 34(4), pp. 413–434.; Sloan et al (2018). A Different, More Durable Model: Hunter College Urban Teacher Residency Project. New Visions for Public Schools.; Valente et al (2023). Establishing partnerships in the Central Valley to expand the teacher residency model, Issues in Teacher Education 32(1), pp. 8-23.

  3. Huguet et al (2021). Widening the pathway: Implementation and impacts of alternative teacher preparation programs across three contexts. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation.; Matsko et al (2022). How different are they? Comparing teacher preparation offered by traditional, alternative, and residency pathways, Journal of Teacher Education 73(3), pp. 225-239.; Ong et al (2021). CTERIN Policy Brief: Diversifying California's Teaching Force: How Teachers Enter the Classroom, Who They Serve, & If They Stay. California Teacher Education Research & Improvement Network.

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Updated April 26, 2024