Relay Graduate School of Education (Relay) today announced that it will open a campus in Connecticut, serving aspiring teachers in multiple cities across the state, including Bridgeport, East Hartford, New Haven, Norwalk, and Waterbury. Approved by the Connecticut State Board of Education on November 2nd, the new campus will offer teacher certification to aspiring teachers. Relay Connecticut will provide an important additional pathway into teaching through its innovative teacher preparation programs, now reaching 2,000 current and aspiring teachers in 11 other sites across the country.
Relay has shown a commitment to increasing the diversity of the nation’s teacher workforce. Only 7% of teachers in Connecticut identify as people of color, compared to more than a third of students. Leaders in Connecticut hope that Relay, whose current programs include 78% participants of color, will be one part of a comprehensive strategy for increasing the diversity of the state’s teachers.
Dr. Michael T. Conner, Chief Academic Officer of Norwalk Public Schools, affirmed, “In order to attract more diverse, talented individuals into teaching, we need to create more pathways into the profession. Relay’s high-quality programs are a welcome addition for the many aspiring teachers looking to become effective educators.”
Relay Connecticut will offer two programs for aspiring teachers in Connecticut, including a one-year alternate route certification (ARC) program and the two-year Relay Teaching Residency. The Relay Teaching Residency gives aspiring teachers the opportunity to learn teaching strategies and methods through an apprenticeship model. Residents are placed in local public schools and work in the classrooms of experienced teachers, while also gaining opportunities for frequent practice and feedback for a full year before transitioning into full-time teaching roles during the second year.
The one-year teacher certification program allows teachers to learn practical techniques that have proven successful in classrooms across the country. Participants will be recommended for full-time teaching certification in the state of Connecticut upon successful completion of the program.
“My experience in Relay’s professional development classes this fall have already positively impacted the learning environment in my classroom,” said Kathryn Arroyo, a prospective participant of Relay’s ARC program and current permanent science substitute teacher in Waterbury. “Through Relay’s new certification program, I’ll have the support I need to pursue my goal of becoming a highly effective biology teacher here in Connecticut."
Relay Connecticut will be led by Rebecca Good. Prior to joining Relay, Good served as a teacher and principal for eleven years, nine of which were spent serving in Connecticut’s public schools.
“Relay and the state of Connecticut share a common goal of improving education and the classroom experience for students – especially students of color, who often don’t see themselves represented in schools,” Good stated. “Relay is excited to work alongside other strong local programs to prepare the next wave of great, diverse teachers in Connecticut.”