The Indiana State Board of Education this week approved the Relay Graduate School of Education, a national higher education teaching program, to open in Indianapolis.
The Relay Teacher Residency program, which takes two years to complete, has 18 campuses across the country. The program’s leaders say it focuses on hands-on experience, mentorship and feedback for its students. Relay graduates receive a Master’s of Arts in Teaching degree.
“Our teachers get a hands-on practical application, and they get a chance to practice those skills in a classroom with an effective teacher and then not only in that classroom, but then also with their peers,” Carlotta Cooprider, dean of Indianapolis’ Relay Graduate School of Education, says.
Residents work full-time in a school and attend class in the evening. Tuition for the accredited program is between $6,000 and $7,000 for the two years program.
Cooprider says the school plans to partner with Indianapolis’ traditional public, innovation and charter schools. The program will begin fall 2019, and will be housed inside an Indianapolis school.
The Mind Trust, a local nonprofit focused on education reform, partnered with the program and raised $3.5 million to support its growth in the city.
“We love the idea of teachers having time and protected and safe space to stumble and fall before they actually are fully responsible for a classroom full of kids,” The Mind Trust Vice President of School Support Joe White says.
For teachers to graduate from the program, they must show that their students achieved academic growth under their supervision. Relay data shows a majority of its graduates stay within the K-12 education system.
Leaders from The Mind Trust say the Relay Graduate School of Education creates a pipeline to support teacher diversity in urban schools, and say that’s part of the reason they decided to partner with the program. The Mind Trust is also partnered with teaching programs from Marian University and Teach for America.
Relay's first Indianapolis cohort will be between 20-30 students.