“Through the partnership with the NCTR, we’ll be able to increase our ability to work with school districts and teachers to improve the lives of children in schools,” said Nicholas Shudak, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of curriculum and instruction at USD.

The School of Education was invited to the NGN because of the success of its USD Teacher Residency Model, a high-impact program that USD designed to include a complementary relationship between coursework and fieldwork, in addition to the construct of the Residency Instructor, who acts as both a coach and a college instructor—all made possible, in part, because of a $49,000 grant from the NGN through the Gates Foundation. Recent research from USD’s Center for Educational Research found a significant impact on student academic outcomes when a residency candidate is placed in a classroom with a mentor.

“With the NGN connection, USD faculty and administrators can learn from other partners within the network about creating and sustaining high-performing teacher residency programs in both urban and rural settings,” Shudak said. “We’ll also be able to open our doors to our partners for peer review as a part of the embedded continuous improvement process the NCTR embraces.”

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