Lindsay Unified Teacher Residency program provides path to teaching credential, masters in 1 year

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Thursday, September 29, 2022
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A South Valley school district is taking action to recruit more educators through a new teaching pipeline program.

LINDSAY, Calif. (KFSN) -- A south valley school district is taking action to recruit more educators through a new teaching pipeline program.

As part of Lindsay Unified's Teacher Residency Program, participants will complete their masters and teaching credentials in just one year. They'll also get a $20,000 living stipend to help cover costs.

They're already seeing success. In their first year, nine students completed the program - all of them taking jobs in the Central Valley.

Sayla Arguelles is a teacher at Kennedy Elementary but just last year, she was a student herself.

"It was an intense program but it was very worth it," said Lindsay Residency Graduate Sayla Arguelles.

Born and raised in Lindsay, Sayla moved to Monterey for her bachelor's with dreams of returning to teach in her hometown. That's when she heard about Lindsay Unified's teacher residency program.

"I thought right away this is such an awesome opportunity," said Arguelles. "They told me I'd be getting my teaching credentials and masters in one year."

Students are paired with a Lindsay Unified teacher as a mentor. Each week, they'll spend time shadowing their mentor in the classroom, in addition to completing classwork of their own.

"If you want to be an educator, you want to get your teaching credential and your masters, this is the program for you," said Coordinator Yazmin Martin. "You get to really see from the beginning to the end what it's like to be an educator."

While applications are open to all aspiring teachers in the Valley, they're hoping to attract as many Lindsay Unified graduates as possible.

"They know a lot about our families, our cultures, what our people do and what our learners are like," said Mentor Kristy Ceasar.

"We can connect and talk about the things going on in our town and how we were raised," added Arguelles.

After graduation, they'll commit to teaching for four years within one of four districts - Lindsay, Dinuba, Cutler-Orosi, or Woodlake Unified School Districts

"They go to this program through the end and there's no surprises," added Martin. "When they become an educator, they're really prepared."

The program costs roughly $20,000, most of which is covered by grants and financial aid. A starting salary for an entry level teaching position is almost $60,000.

If you're interested in applying, visit their website.