Teacher residency programs are modeled on the residencies medical doctors complete before becoming fully certified practicing physicians. Teacher candidates first serve as a resident teacher in a local school, where they earn a stipend or salary, have a mentor teacher, and hone their craft.

Four local colleges and universities currently host residency programs for graduate students, each with different models and target audiences.


University at Buffalo

The University at Buffalo Teacher Residency Program places teacher candidates in schools in the Buffalo Public Schools district. Residents pledge to teach in BPS schools for at least three years following their residency in exchange for a stipend of $18,000 during their residency year. Residents complete a summer of coursework prior to a one-year residency and complete remaining courses the summer following their residency year. They are then ready to become teachers of record in BPS schools the following year.

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Canisius College

Canisius hosts the WNY Teacher Residency program that works with charter schools in addition to some suburban and specialty schools. The program is two years and residents emerge with dual certification in both special education and a subject area. Many choose to work at a local school during their initial year as a student in the program, but in the second year a local school hires them to positions such as Teacher Aide or Teacher Assistant for which they earn a salary in the mid-20s plus benefits.

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Buffalo State

SUNY Buffalo State partners with Buffalo Public Schools on an urban teacher residency pipeline program. Teacher Aides and Teacher Assistants who work in the district are eligible to receive free tuition for both undergraduate and graduate coursework as needed while earning salary (usually in the mid-20s) and benefits. Students become residents their final semester in the program, when they complete supervised teaching hours to earn their certification.

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Niagara University

Niagara runs the One Year to a Teaching Career program with Buffalo Public Schools in addition to other local districts and schools. The program certifies students in as few as three semesters of evening, weekend, and online coursework while candidates work as long-term substitutes for at least 120 days during the school year. This allows students to earn a salary while completing their fieldwork.