West Virginia Residency Model

West Virginia Educator Preparation Programs

There are currently nineteen Educator Preparation Providers (EPP) in the state of West Virginia. Following West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) requirements, all EPPs have adopted the residency model for teacher preparation. All West Virginia EPPs must have a minimum of one content area implementing the WV Residency Model beginning with entering freshmen in the Fall of 2021. All remaining content areas of educator preparation must transition to the WV Residency Model with entering freshman no later than the Fall of 2024; thus, phasing out traditional student teaching for four-year teacher preparation programs.

10 Public Higher Education (Blue)9 Private Higher Education (Gold)
Bluefield State CollegeAlderson Broaddus University
Concord UniversityAppalachian Bible College
Fairmont State UniversityBethany College
Glenville State CollegeDavis and Elkins College
Marshall UniversityOhio Valley University
Shepherd UniversitySalem University
West Liberty UniversityUniversity of Charleston
West Virginia State UniversityWest Virginia Wesleyan College
West Virginia UniversityWheeling University
West Virginia University - Parkersburg

The West Virginia Residency Model is an intensive preparation program that has pre-service teachers completing all general education and content coursework during their first three years and culminating in a yearlong residency clinical experience. This rigorous clinical has the resident teacher being paired with a master teacher and utilizing co-teaching as a method to teach residents how to teach. This is not just a yearlong clinical – this model will guide all teacher preparation programs in West Virginia by building relationships between the EPP and residency schools, communities, and districts.

Hear from our West Virginia Residency Model Pilot Programs:

West Liberty University

West Virginia University – Parkersburg

“The residency concept is creating a true pathway of support for our teacher candidates from their college education experience to their clinical experiences in the classroom. This is an excellent example of collaboration between the state in developing the residence paths, and the colleges working in a collaborative spirit with partnership leaders including; Superintendents, Curriculum Directors, Principals and the classroom Teachers. The target of this process is to provide support with true life experience in the classrooms for our teacher candidates while affording PK-12 students an opportunity for higher achievement. This new residency model has the potential to be a true Win-Win for all participants.”– Dr. David Lancaster, Division Chair, WVU-P

Concord University

“The yearlong residency changed my perception of teaching and college. It provided the experience of being in a classroom with the same students, school, and staff for a whole year. This experience has taught me what it means to be a teacher, classroom management, differentiation, lesson planning, assessing and analyzing data. I could not be more thankful for this opportunity”. – Bridget Waugh, Second Semester Resident, Mercer County


Within an educational preparation program, the West Virginia Residency Model was designed to create a foundation to provide future teachers the opportunity to hone their instructional skills throughout an intensive yearlong clinical that embeds the resident teacher in not only the classroom, but the school, community, and county, and makes them a vital part of the educational building blocks for our PK-12 students.

Field Experiences

Field experiences are required prior to the yearlong clinical experience. These hours remain the same as in traditional student teaching:

  • Field hours are required prior to the yearlong residency and ideally would take place during years 1-3.
  • 125 hours placed in content and programmatic levels that are being recommended for licensure.
  • These hours will provide additional experiences for the pre-service teacher.

Yearlong Clinical – Senior Year

Resident teacher may follow the district calendar (institutional decision).

Residency 1

(First Semester of YLR Clinical)
Residency 2

(Second Semester of YLR Clinical)
WeeksMinimum 14 weeksMinimum 14 weeks
HoursMinimum 250 hours per semester Minimum of 500 hours per semester
Resident Financial Opportunities

  • $2000 stipend issued by the WVDE through 2023

  • Opportunity to substitute in their host school no more than one day per week (county decision)

Co-teaching will be implemented during the Yearlong Residency Clinical

Benefits of Residency Model

What are the benefits of implementing the West Virginia Residency Model and a yearlong clinical experience?

PK-12 Students:

  • Teacher to student ratio in these classrooms is cut in half leading to increased student achievement.
  • PK-12 Students receive more individualized attention to provide individualized instruction to those students with the greatest need.
  • PK-12 Students receive feedback quicker and have their questions answered faster.


  • Supports a less stressful work environment for cooperating teachers and the school district’s efforts to retain talented staff members.
  • Leads to retention of experienced and skilled school leaders and staff.
  • Leads to sustaining a positive school climate.

Resident Teacher:

  • Opportunity to work alongside a highly effective teacher gaining experience and support as they refine their skills
  • Scaffolding through co-teaching and transition into the leadership in the co-teaching framework
  • Viewed as a valuable member of the school faculty for an entire year.
  • Residents gain an understanding of the unique challenges of a full year of teaching. (school opening to school closing)

Key Findings

Here are the key findings from those who hire and work alongside residency graduates (National Center for Teacher Residencies – NCTR)

  • 91% of principals said that residency-trained teachers outperform typical new teachers.
  • 91% of principals said the residency program improves achievement and student learning at their school.
  • 94% of principals would recommend hiring a residency graduate to another principal
  • 95% of resident teachers agreed that they entered the classroom with more effective skills than the average new teacher.
  • 98% of cooperating teachers agree that they grow professionally from their participation in the residency experience and makes them a more effective teacher.

Graduates of residency programs report that they are ready to lead classroom learning and meet student needs. Multiple research studies show the number one indicator in the school setting of student achievement is the quality of the teacher. By embedding the resident teacher in a rigorous clinical experience, we are fostering the development of effective new educators to meet the needs of our PK-12 students.


What is a residency yearlong clinical experience?

  • A residency yearlong clinical experience is not an extended traditional student teaching experience but a sustained yearlong clinical that embeds the resident teacher in not only the classroom, but the school, community, and county where residents become valuable member of the school faculty.
  • Over the course of the year, resident teachers transition to become the lead in a collaborative co-teaching classroom.
  • The integrated clinical experience, aligned coursework, guidance from effective cooperating teachers and other teacher educators, and gradual release of responsibility ensure residents develop the competencies of effective teachers, before becoming teachers of record in their own classroom. From their first day teaching, residency graduates are ready to provide outstanding instruction and help students achieve ambitious results.
  • Residents bring their energy and knowledge gained from their coursework to the school, sharing their new skills with the cooperating teacher and faculty.

What evidence is there that residencies work? (National Center for Teacher Residencies, NCTR)

Principals who hire and supervise residency graduates report that they are exceptionally well prepared for today’s classrooms. In 2017, NCTR surveyed more than 70 principals who had hired teachers from 19 residency programs and found that:

  • 9 out of 10 said residents outperformed new teachers prepared through other programs.
  • 9 out of 10 said residents improved achievement and student learning at their school.
  • 94 % of the principals said they would recommend hiring a residency graduate to another principal.

Data also show that:

  • Novice teaching residency program teachers were more likely than other novice teachers to remain in their districts.
  • 95% agreed that they entered the classroom with more effective skills that the average new teacher
  • There are positive changes over five years—a better school climate, more involvement in collaborative school decisions, and more professional engagement.
  • Novice teachers have also reported high levels of confidence in their ability to engage students, teach their subject matter, and use data to inform their instruction.
  • More than 85 % of residents are still teaching in schools three years after being hired.

Are there other ways in which residencies impact districts and schools?

Residencies are good way to combat teacher attrition, which is a perennial and expensive problem in our schools. Some counties spend upwards of $18,000 on every new teacher they hire for recruiting, advertising, induction, and training; however, more than half of new teachers quit within three years. The cost to PK-12 students is even steeper, teacher attrition subjects them to a revolving door of ill-prepared teachers. In contrast, residency graduates are “ready to teach” on day one and are committed to their schools and community. Not only are residency graduates more effective teachers, but they also reduce teacher turnover in their schools.

What are the perceived challenges/obstacles of a WV Residency Model?

It can be perceived as an extended Student Teaching experience.

Reality: A yearlong embedded clinical experience that couples co-teaching, daily experiences, and teacher support to prepare teacher residents to become highly effective teachers in content area and pedagogy.

It may be assumed that this will extend a student’s time in college.

Reality: With a new path to residency, teacher candidates will receive their general education and content area courses in years 1-3 with pedagogy instruction embedded in the fourth and final year during the residency experience. This pathway will not add additional years to the traditional four-year degree program.

It could be perceived as not practical for student’s life and work load.

Reality: The residency model will allow resident teachers the opportunity to substitute teach during Residency 2 potentially earning more in one day substituting than working a minimum wage job for 20 hours a week. Residency 2 students are also provided a $1000 stipend to offset any financial burden.

Cooperating teachers may believe it will hurt test scores in the classroom.

Reality: By incorporating the co-teaching model throughout the year, the residency will allow for smaller student-teacher ratio, differentiated instruction, and more attention to those students in need, potentially increasing student achievement. The cooperating teacher never ‘gives up’ their classroom.