Urban Teacher Residency Program - Elementary Education

URban teacher residency program - elementary education

Student TEstimonial

    "The professors and I had thorough conversations about what my career goals were and how to create an action plan to develop myself into an effective teacher."Zyaire KahNah
    Read Zyaire's Story

Program overview

This program is offered fully online with synchronous and asynchronous courses.

The Urban Teacher Residency Program at Western Michigan University works to develop an affordable pathway for long-term substitute teachers and paraprofessionals to become certified teachers in Benton Harbor Area Schools and Kalamazoo Public Schools. Urban Teacher Residents receive a $20,000 stipend to participate in the program with a new cohort of 25 Resident Teachers launching annually in July. This master's program meets state requirements to obtain elementary education certification at the graduate level.

The program is designed for non-certified elementary educators who:

  • In this 12-month program, Urban Teacher Residents take online graduate courses in culturally responsive teaching and elementary content standards.
  • They also complete a research project using assessment data to inform their teaching practices.
  • Upon completing the MA program in Elementary Education, Resident Teachers become certified in the district and receive 3 years of comprehensive induction support to be effective urban educators.

Not eligible for the Urban Teacher Residency program but still interested in this degree? Visit the elementary education teaching certification page

Why Elementary Education at Western Michigan University?

  • Students in this program co-teach with trained mentors and receive extensive coaching during the school year. 
  • Students in this program complete a year-long clinical experience with the required coursework for certification. 
  • Students in this program work in cohorts and receive targeted feedback on their practice as they apply what they are learning in their coursework. 
  • Students will have the opportunity to be placed in the district as full-time teachers and receive comprehensive induction support for three years
  • WMU is ranked No. 3 in the state of Michigan and in the top 100 public institutions for best graduate schools in education.
  • This program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
  • All WMU programs offer an optional WMU Signature Designation, which helps students degrees stand out through an integrative learning project in one of several pathways including: Teaching & Student Success, Leadership, Health & Wellbeing, Diversity, Inclusion, Equity & Justice, and more! 

Who should apply?

Those who hold a bachelor's degree and are seeking initial teaching certification in elementary education.

    1. Complete this form to be contacted by December 1 for a pre-application interview.
    2. Interviews will determine selection for the cohort.
    3. Once selected for the cohort, submit the graduate program application.

Cost & Funding

Helpful links


Contact person: Dr. Regena Nelson