Graduate Education

More Than Just Student Teaching

Preparation for a career in education includes real-world practice. Aspiring teachers must complete a field experience to apply the pedagogy and classroom management styles learned in their graduate classes. Many traditional teacher education programs include only one semester of student teaching, with short periods of actually working in the classroom. However, Clarkson University’s Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program at the Capital Region Campus in Schenectady, NY, raises the bar, with students completing year-long teaching residencies.

Teaching Residency

A teaching residency program most commonly involves a full school year of teaching experience in a classroom, with graduate coursework being completed throughout that year. While residencies may differ depending on the certification area, all provide future teachers with a mentor, feedback, and guided experience prior to becoming a certified classroom teacher. Teaching residencies essentially are a bridge into the profession or a move into a teaching role from a classroom support position.

At Clarkson, student teachers, or “residents,” shadow the mentor teacher at first in a limited role. Over time, they gain more responsibility as experience builds, intending to assume most of the teaching responsibilities for two of the mentor’s classes by December. Some of the resident’s daily tasks include classroom management, lesson planning, assessment, and grading. By the end of the supervised instructional experience, the resident will have moved fully into the role of teacher under the guidance and support of the mentor. Progress is continually monitored by the mentor teacher and a university supervisor.

Clarkson’s Future Teachers

One of the biggest contributing factors to Clarkson’s successful residency program is our program alumni. Graduates are well-prepared future teachers equipped with tools to acclimate to the changing educational landscape. They give us insight on how to continually adapt and improve our program to meet pre-K through grade 12 district needs. We also get program feedback from an advisory board of district administrators from Capital Region schools.

Additionally, we partner and work very closely with the local school districts in New York’s Capital Region. The school districts where we place our residents range from suburban to rural, to urban, and include low, medium, and high-need districts. Thus, our residency opportunities position alumni to successfully teach in a range of environments.

The Clarkson Advantage

Clarkson provides an excellent foundation for aspiring teachers to develop student-centered lessons that prepare today’s youth for success in the 21st century. Graduates from Clarkson’s MAT program become future leaders in the field due to strong academic programs and a 100% placement rate after graduation.

Here, there are exceptional faculty who care and are invested in student success. There are endless opportunities to strengthen connections with more than 40,000 Clarkson alumni, including CEOs, fellow educators, and local community leaders.

Corey Ryder (Math BS’20, MAT’21) recalls:

The Clarkson MAT program emphasizes the importance of practicing the methods and skills taught in class, as well as the importance of community and collaboration. The instructors are always sure to teach candidates about effective classroom strategies, and they model these strategies throughout class time so that the students are able to get a better understanding of how to implement them. During my full-year teaching residency, I practiced implementing some of these ideas, and my classmates and I had many opportunities to brainstorm and build activities to suit our future math classrooms. Once I entered the world of teaching, I had created a collection of activities, strategies, and skills to aid my students in learning these math concepts, and I was confident in knowing that I was fully prepared to be the best educator I could be.

If you believe a career in education is right for you, please request more information or apply today! And remember, Clarkson’s Graduate Admissions team is here to help. For a full list of graduate programs, visit here. Contact us by emailing, calling 518-631-9831, or emailing our graduate recruiter, Jacob Johnson, at

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