Press Release

National Center for Teacher Residencies awarded $850,000 to develop proven teacher training programs in six school districts

Kent Fischer, Director of Communications

CHICAGO – The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has awarded the National Center for Teacher Residencies (NCTR) a grant in the amount of $850,505 to develop new teacher residency programs in six communities in partnership with school districts, institutions of higher education, and local non-profits.

Since its founding in 2007, NCTR has helped launch more than two dozen teacher residency programs that are delivering diverse, talented, and effective educators to schools that need them most. The Kellogg Foundation grant will allow NCTR to accelerate its efforts to transform how educators are prepared for America’s classrooms.

“Teachers who graduate from residency programs are skilled and effective teachers on Day One,” said Anissa Listak, NCTR’s founder and chief executive officer. “More than 90 percent of our graduates work in high-poverty or rural schools, and so this grant from the Kellogg Foundation will allow us to help more of these districts recruit, train, and keep their best teachers.”

The three-year grant from the Kellogg Foundation will enable NCTR to improve the quality of education for students in elementary schools in select regions across the nation.  NCTR will develop teacher residency programs in six communities in collaboration with their local districts, colleges and universities, and non-profits. These new residency programs will focus on training teachers for grades K-6, and have the potential to reach thousands of students in the partner school districts.

“Supporting professional development for teachers is a key component in ensuring that our children receive a high-quality education,” said Renee Blahuta, program officer at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. “Graduates of NCTR’s residency programs will be better equipped to help students learn and grow, setting them on a path to success in school and life.”

NCTR and its partners prepare new teachers using a model that is similar to medical residencies. The residency pairs promising new teachers with experienced educators for year-long apprenticeships in real classrooms. Coupled with college coursework, this training better prepares teachers to help students succeed, from their very first day as new teachers. Research also shows that residency graduates teach in their high-need schools longer than other novices.

Better-prepared teachers and lower staff turnover make residency programs a wise investment for schools and taxpayers.

For more information on NCTR and teacher residency programs, please visit


About NCTR: The National Center for Teacher Residencies is a not-for-profit organization created to improve student achievement through the preparation of excellent new teachers for high-need school districts. Headquartered in Chicago, NCTR’s mission is to build and support high-performing teacher residency programs, and to transform teacher preparation through the dissemination of research and best practices.

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