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Universities Team Up With DPS To Mentor New Teachers

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DENVER (CBS4) – Denver Public Schools is teaming up with two local universities in a first-of-its-kind program for teachers.

Seniors at Metropolitan State University and University of Colorado Denver who are earning bachelor’s degrees and a teaching license will have a chance to spend a year in a Denver classroom working with a mentor teacher.

The program is called the Denver Student Teacher Residency Program. DPS says it’s the first time it’s aware of a school district teaming up with universities to offer an intensive residency program for teachers.

The district says it will improve the abilities of new teachers.

The students who are eligible for the program say it’s exactly the kind of experience they want.

Lindsey Knickerbocker is in the University of Colorado Denver’s Urban Teacher Program. She went back to school to get her teaching degree after working in the corporate world for several years.

“I always felt I wanted to work with children, I always wanted to help students,” she said. “I made the leap.

“I felt that a program where you jump into a program right away, you’re in the classroom four days a week. You get to be with students so much more.

“I want to be the best teacher I can be right away and I wanted to get the most experience I can get, and this program seemed to align with exactly what I was looking for.”

Students who graduate from the program with their license will receive priority hiring status for Denver Public Schools.

DPS Superintendent Tom Boasberg praised the program in a news release.

“With 50 percent of new teachers exiting the teaching profession within their first five years, we must increase our focus on teacher preparation and retention.

“By being so much better prepared, I believe our first-year teachers will find more success and joy during those critical first years of teaching and stay longer in the profession.”

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