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Success Story: New Resources Ease the West Virginia Residency Model Transition

West Virginia’s educator preparation programs (EPPs) are required to transition to the West Virginia Residency Model (WVRM), a residency-based teacher preparation program. By fall of 2024, EPPs are required to offer the residency model for all undergraduate licensure areas to their incoming freshman cohorts. Teacher Residency Programs combine coursework in education with extensive on-the-job training and are a way to address the recruitment and retention challenges that have led to teacher shortages across the nation. 

To support the WVRM for state and local education agencies (SEAs and LEAs), the Region 5 Comprehensive Center team conducted webinars and developed resources that focus on key evidence-based factors, gathered from exemplar states and programs to help ensure a smooth transition and effective path forward. Following a report on developing Sustainable Funding of WVRM, the team conducted a webinar discussing the key strategies, including: (1) identifying opportunities for raising new revenues; (2) reallocating existing resources; (3) reducing the cost of the WVRM; (4) finding cost savings in other operational areas and reinvesting these to support the WVRM; and (5) cost sharing between the state, EPPs, and partner school districts. 

The second webinar conducted was based on findings from Improving the Pipeline: Strategies for Recruiting Teacher Residency Candidates and addressed another common challenge—recruiting more candidates. To support EPPs, the team developed a corresponding tool—Teacher Candidate Recruiting Strategy Implementation Tool, which is publicly available and will also be featured in an upcoming webinar on matching teacher residents and cooperating teachers. Each of these components—sustainable funding, recruiting teacher resident candidates, and matching residents and mentors—is crucial to the success of teacher residency programs. 

“The facilitated collaboration with educator preparation providers led by the Region 5 Comprehensive Center has the potential to identify barriers to the implementation of teacher residency. The resulting resources created by the CCNetwork can then be targeted to those needs and our WV model, leading to greater understanding, acceptance, and implementation of our residency model statewide.” 

Member of the West Virginia Department of Education

The next webinar with West Virginia EPP leaders will focus on recommended practices in Building a Better Data System for Teacher Supply, Demand, and Preparation: A Strategy for Addressing West Virginia's Teacher Shortage. A better data system will help stakeholders track the West Virginia Department of Education’s supply and demand of teachers, identify gaps in the pipeline, and monitor efforts to mitigate them to address teacher shortages. The ultimate goal is to address achievement gaps by having an effective teacher in every classroom.