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State-of-the-Art Residency Design Launched in 5 Districts in South Carolina

CarolinaCAP expands services across the state while broadening the teacher workforce pipeline.  

The Carolina Collaborative for Alternative Preparation (CarolinaCAP) launched a residency component to its alternative certification pathway on July 11, 2023 by hosting a district design day followed by an orientation for residents on July 12, 2023. The CarolinaCAP Residency was designed in 2022-23 as an intensive and innovative doorway into the CarolinaCAP pathway, ensuring residents are better prepared for the teaching profession. 

CarolinaCAP is a non-degree pathway leading to full licensure for teacher candidates that emphasizes the support of districts and teacher candidates in rural and historically disadvantaged communities across the state. The residency will add a year that precedes the already established three-year pathway, allowing residents to learn alongside accomplished teachers. As part of USC’s commitment to preparing and supporting educators for systems most in need, CarolinaCAP provides wider accessibility and targeted supports to school districts and candidates via this rigorous, university-based preparation pathway, with an emphasis on serving rural and hard-to-staff schools. In 2023-24, CarolinaCAP candidates and residents will teach approximately 4,500 students in SC public school classrooms.

With support and funding from the state legislature and the College of Education at the University of South Carolina (USC), CarolinaCAP studied a number of residency programs and related research as well as met with evaluators and districts to identify needs that a residency might meet to develop a pathway that would further enrich teacher readiness.

Additionally, the residency broadens the pipeline of potential participants in CarolinaCAP in several ways. First, it removes the requirement to already have an undergraduate degree allowing undergraduates to begin the residency prior to graduation. The residency also engages HBCU partners that are preparing undergraduates in key content areas, like science and math, that do not have teacher preparation programs for those areas. Recruiting undergraduates in their final year of a degree program, or recent graduates, from these institutions allows the residency to maximize the opportunities for individuals with ready content knowledge to access opportunities to enter teaching.

“We are building the next generation of talented and passionate teachers by strategically connecting residents with educators and coaches with expert knowledge,” said LaKeytria Grant, Director of CarolinaCAP.

As part of the CarolinaCAP Residency pathway, residents will receive:

  • A full year of co-teaching with a “coaching teacher” who supervises and supports the clinical experience;
  • Opportunities to shadow other professionals in their schools;
  • A living wage stipend that allows the residents to focus fully on co-teaching and preparation;
  • Targeted learning experiences on STEM content and whole-child pedagogical approaches provided by higher education partners; and
  • Extended Praxis preparation to increase passing rates for each portion of the exam.

Residents will also provide direct benefit to the schools and districts in which they are placed. In addition to providing additional teaching support to students, they are available as knowledgeable substitutes within their buildings – a critical need in schools that are already chronically understaffed.

For more information on the CarolinaCAP Residency pathway, please visit the CarolinaCAP webpage.

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