• Earning your Master’s Degree and Teaching Credential in one year.
  • Apprenticing four days a week with an expert teacher in your residency school.
  • Learning within a cohort of peers with whom you will work (and laugh) all year, paving the way to becoming lifelong friends and colleagues.
  • Building a relationship with an expert instructional leader in TK-12 education, who will advise and support you through one-on-one observation and dialogue.
  • Engaging in critical conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion with your mentor, instructors, and peers.
  • Receiving priority consideration for a full-time position upon completing the program.
  • Doing all of this at a cost that is affordable and includes financial support.

Our program is based on a residency model that combines immersive hands-on practice in the classroom with educational theory and research in both seminars and online. It takes place in partnership with TK-12 schools in historically underserved communities, and 96% of our graduates obtain full-time teaching positions after completing the program.

Program Overview

  • Residents spend four days a week in the classroom participating in hands-on teaching for the duration of a school year.
  • One day a week is spent with a regional cohort in seminars that bridge educational theory and research with the direct experience taking place in the classroom.
  • Additional discussion and reflection on theory and research take place via in-person course intensives and online coursework. More information is available in the Alder Scope and Sequence.
  • Residents apprentice at one of our partner schools in California in the San Francisco Bay Area, Central Valley, Central Coast, or Los Angeles.
  • Residents receive a Master of Arts in Education with a concentration in Teaching or Special Education and Teaching Credential

Available Credentials

Please note that available credentials vary by partner.

  • Multiple Subject (K–8)
  • Single Subject (6–12): English, Math, Science, Social Studies, or World Languages
  • Education Specialist — Mild to Moderate Support Needs
  • Bilingual Authorization

Partner TK-12 Campuses

Alder GSE partners with mission-aligned school communities to provide apprenticeships for residents and a customized, right-sized pipeline of exceptional teachers for schools. Please see our school partners page for more information on current partners.

What is the weekly schedule of a resident?

The resident will be in their mentor teacher’s classroom four full days per week. The resident and the mentor will determine when they will meet to plan lessons and prepare materials either before or after school. One day per week the resident will join the rest of the regional cohort to attend a weekly, all-day seminar that will focus on bridging theory and practice. In addition to the seminar, the resident will participate in online course work related to educational research and theory.

What type of feedback will I engage in as a resident?

Formative: Residents are observed and receive written feedback from three sources: their mentor teacher, the teacher Residency Director, and the site Principal. They are done at different times and at different intervals as described below:

  • Observations with written feedback from mentor: once per week
  • Observations with written feedback from Director: once every two to three weeks
  • Observations with written feedback from site Principal: twice per semester (minimum)

Summative: All residents will demonstrate knowledge and skills learned and practiced across courses, seminars, and the classroom practicum by engaging in performance assessments. These assessments are designed to measure resident performance of core resident Learning Standards in a sequence that follows the seminar themes. Residents, mentors and Alder staff will use assessment results to adjust the gradual release model for each resident based on individual needs to ensure steady and consistent development.

Where will I do my coursework and seminars?

Graduate coursework will be completed both online and in person. More than half of total coursework is completed in person, including week-long sessions. Seminars will take place at a partner school or office in each region.

Will I get an opportunity to teach the class alone during the year?

Alder GSE uses a gradual release model, in which each resident mentor pair collaborates closely on what instructional components will be released to residents and when. The model is a central component of the residency design in that it allows individual residents to gradually take on classroom responsibilities as their skill levels increase.

Each month, residents will take on more instructional components and lead teach one day per month while mentors engage in professional development off-site. By middle to late November, each resident will conduct a full takeover, where they will be responsible for the full teaching responsibilities of a four-day period. Residents complete an additional takeover week in the spring.

Where will I be placed for my classroom experience?

Residents will be placed at partner TK–12 campuses based on geographic preference, subject area preference, and the mentor matching process. To learn more about our partner TK–12 campuses and selecting the best fit for you, please see our admissions process page.

Will my academic experience vary significantly depending on which Partner TK-12 Campus I choose?

Students will experience a consistent academic experience through consistent coursework and seminars. Directors from all Alder GSE regions collaborate regularly on seminar curriculum to ensure consistency of coursework.

What job placement support will I receive?

Directors work closely with each resident and with the partner TK–12 school system to help residents with job placement and counseling. In addition, time is spent in seminars reviewing resumé and cover letter writing, interviewing skills, and other job application best practices.

Is it possible to continue working full time while participating in this program?

During this program the resident is considered a full-time student. We discourage residents from working during this year due to the challenging, full-time nature of the program. After-school hours are a critical time for residents to plan with mentors and prepare for the next school day, as well as read course materials and complete assignments for the Master’s Degree.

Is this a nationally credentialed program?

At the end of year one, California students will receive a Master of Arts with a concentration in Teaching or Special Education and be recommended for a California Teaching Credential by Alder Graduate School of Education.

There is reciprocity with many other states but this is not a “national credential.” This is not a program to become Nationally Board Certified through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

Is there a chance I can remain at the school at which I am currently working? If so, how greatly will you consider my request for subject specialty and/or mentor?

Partner TK–12 schools will strongly consider your preferences in the application process, but we cannot guarantee that you will get your first preference.

If I am not accepted to the program, can I be provided feedback on the decision?

All admission decisions are made through a collaborative decision making process between Alder GSE and the participating K-12 partners. As a result, Alder does not provide applicants with specific or detailed reasons for why they were not offered admission. We do encourage candidates to consider applying for future cohorts if not admitted for a particular year  and to apply early each fall for greatest subject and location availability.