FAQs

Looking for help? Get answers to frequently asked questions.
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General

What is Relay’s mission?

Our mission is to teach PK–12 teachers and school leaders to develop in all students the academic skills and strength of character needed to succeed in college and life.

What does the name Relay mean?

The name “Relay” originates from the core goal of our work — making sure that all students have access to great teachers who will inspire them to learn and achieve. Research shows that students who have at least three effective teachers in a row — a “relay” of great teachers — show a dramatic increase in academic success. By developing and preparing our educators through our practice-based approach, we can ensure that we can fill schools with high-quality and diverse teachers so every child has access to an excellent education.

How is Relay different from traditional graduate schools?

At Relay, we focus on providing educators with a thoughtful integration of practice and theory, helping to ensure that our graduate students are equipped with the skills and mindsets needed to support student learning and growth. Relay’s programs blend in-person and online coursework and focus heavily on practice and feedback. To learn more about the Relay approach, visit our "Approach" page.

Where does Relay operate?

Relay currently has campuses in 18 states across the country. To find the closest Relay campus to you, visit our "Campuses" page.

When was Relay founded?

In 2011, Relay became the first standalone graduate school of education to receive approval to operate in New York State in over 80 years.

Is Relay an accredited institute of higher education?

Relay is institutionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), recognized by the United States Department of Education as an accrediting agency for institutions of higher education. Relay also has program accreditation from the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

From 2007-2011, Relay operated a program called Teacher U in partnership with Hunter College with a goal of creating a new kind of teacher preparation program. Teacher U began with three dozen graduate students and grew into a master’s degree program preparing 250 district and charter public school teachers.

How many graduate students are enrolled at Relay?

During the 2018–19 school year, Relay expects to serve more than 5,000 current and aspiring teachers across 18 campuses, and 1,200 school leaders nationwide. At this scale, Relay’s student body will impact over 400,000 PK-12 students across the country.
Programs & Academics

What programs does Relay offer?

Relay offers several programs ranging from two weeks to two years. Our offerings include master’s degrees and certification programs for teachers and teaching residents, fellowships for principals and school leaders, unique opportunities for college students to explore teaching, and online courses for members of the public. Visit our audience pages to learn more about Relay programs.

What does the Relay curriculum look like for graduate students?

Relay’s curriculum varies by program, but all of our programs emphasize frequent practice and feedback. Most assignments consist of authentic work samples of graduate students’ educational practice, including videos of teaching instruction or teacher coaching, lesson plan samples, assessment samples, etc.

At Relay, we focus every aspect of the graduate school experience on what it takes to propel student learning in the classroom. For our teaching programs, we organize coursework around four elements of effective instruction: Content, Classroom Culture, Self and Other People, and the Teaching Cycle.

During the first year of Relay master's programs, graduate students learn the basics of how to build relationships with students, families, and colleagues, as well as fundamentals in classroom management, lesson planning, and assessment design. In the second year, graduate students broaden their knowledge by focusing on unit planning and incorporating literacy across content areas. They also learn specific techniques that help them build rigorous and joyful classrooms — the kind of learning environments that encourage both academic achievement and character development.

How do I apply to a program?

In order to be admitted to most Relay programs (with the exception of college student programs), applicants must first be hired by a Relay partner school.

Visit the "Apply" page to learn more about admissions requirements for Relay programs.

What is Deliberate Practice?

Like great athletes or artists, teachers become excellent at their craft through experience and practice. Deliberate practice — a focus on the concrete and specific teaching skills necessary to maximize impact in the classroom — is a cornerstone of all Relay programs, and especially the Relay Teaching Residency program.

Residents participate in weekly 3 hour practice sessions to develop and perfect their teaching skills. These practice sessions complement and support Relay master’s classes. For example, you might practice responding to common student misconceptions. Then, you would receive expert feedback, apply that feedback, and do it again to build your skills.

I am or was a student at Relay. How do I request my transcripts?

To request your Relay transcripts, please submit the request form on the "GEN-101" course on your learning management system (Canvas or Course Platform).

Canvas: To locate GEN-101 on Canvas, log into Canvas and click “Courses” at the far left. Then, click onto GEN-101. Click “Request a Transcript” under “Registrar Forms & Resources.”

Course Platform: To locate GEN-101 on the CP, log into the CP, click "Modules" at the top of the page, and type "GEN" into the search bar. The GEN-101 module should appear. Find the request form under the Registrar Self-Service tab.

Feel free to reach out to enrollment@relay.edu with questions!
Certification, Exams, and Eligibility

How do I get certified?

Teacher certification varies from state to state, but typically involves a series of tests, online courses, and documentation. To find out more about certification requirements for your state, visit our campus and program pages.

Will the certificate I earn allow me to work in other states?

Each state has different regulations regarding teaching certification reciprocity. You will have to check the specific state’s Department of Education to determine eligibility. Many states require master’s degrees to teach, which teachers will earn upon successful completion of an M.A.T. or Relay Teaching Residency program.

Do I need to take the GRE? What test(s) do I need to take before being accepted to Relay?

Graduate students in some states (e.g., New York) may be required to take the GRE exam. All graduate students enrolled in alternate route certification programs are required to take and pass state-specific certification exams in order to maintain enrollment at Relay. In some cases, you may be required to provide proof of having passed those exams before you can be enrolled at Relay.

What if I lose my teaching/leading position?

All Relay graduate students are required to be employed by a partner school. Graduate students who lose their employment will have one month to regain employment (if enrolled in a teaching program, the new position must be in a subject and grade that matches their Relay major and certification area). If they do not find another position as a teacher or school leader, they will have to take a leave of absence or will be exited from Relay’s program.
Financial

How do I pay for my degree?

Relay is committed to ensuring that programs are affordable for all graduate students—especially those teaching in high-needs schools. Tuition varies from program to program. Most Graduate students receive institutional aid from Relay, and many qualify for the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award to reduce the cost of tuition. Students enrolled in degree-granting programs may apply for federal financial aid, and all students are eligible to apply for payment plans. For tuition information, read our program descriptions or contact support@relay.edu.