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Union launches urban education residency program in Memphis

JACKSON, Tenn.May 21, 2009 – A new master’s degree offered by Union University in partnership with the Memphis Teacher Residency Program will train teachers committed to working in an urban environment.

Students in the program will spend one year living in Memphis, where they will observe and teach at an urban school four days per week, working with an assigned mentor. They will also take classes and complete a Master of Arts degree in urban education.

Students will commit to spend three years teaching in Memphis city schools after they have completed the program.

“The program of study is intense and combines clinical experience with rigorous Christian academic preparation for urban teachers,” said Thomas Rosebrough, dean of Union’s College of Education and Human Studies. “The challenges that teachers encounter every day in the classroom are real and we believe that our program must prepare teachers for the realities they will face, and we must do so in a way that sustains learning success.”

Rosebrough said the MTR program is unique. Though other teacher residency programs exist, this is the first Christ-centered urban residency program to be offered.

“Kids need great teachers, and we need to always be looking for new, creative ways to train teachers, especially those committed to teaching in high-needs areas,” Rosebrough said. “The residency program is a new, cutting-edge model that allows us to give students preparation and understanding of what urban kids need, within the context of a calling.”

The program begins June 1, and the first class will consist of 28 residents. They will live in Memphis and take classes at the MTR site located at Union Avenue Baptist Church. Students accepted into the program will receive free tuition and housing as well as $12,000 stipend for the 12-month training period, with the opportunity to complete a Tennessee teaching license as well as the master’s degree.

Entrance into the program is available to both education and non-education college graduates in both elementary and secondary education.

Rosebrough expressed his appreciation for the School of Education faculty members at Union’s Germantown campus – Jennifer Grove, Rosetta Mayfield, Dianne Morgan, Steve Marvin and Nancy Easley – who have worked to develop the curriculum for the program.

More information about the MTR program is available at www.memphistr.org.

Media contact: Tim Ellsworth, news@uu.edu, 731-661-5215

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