For the second year, Immaculata University is partnering with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to provide a teacher residency program that develops teaching skills through the academic study and in-classroom experience.

Program candidates are eligible for full-time educational placement in an elementary school within the archdiocese as a teacher or teacher’s aide that includes salary and benefits.

Meanwhile, the candidates earn a college education by attending evening classes with flexible delivery formats and financial assistance for tuition. Once coursework is completed, students are eligible for state teaching certification.

Graduates of the teacher residency program also have an opportunity to complete a master’s degree at Immaculata at a discounted rate.

Maria Piel, a preK-3 teacher at St. Bernadette School in Drexel Hill, is earning a bachelor’s degree in education through the teacher residency program. With 14 years of experience as an instructional assistant, Piel appreciates the “toolkit of strategies” that the professors at Immaculata provide to their students.

This toolkit helps prepare teachers for various real-time educational scenarios while ensuring they have strategies that can be used at any given time in the classroom.

The teacher residency program “has proven itself to be beneficial in helping our teachers to be better prepared and in helping our schools to obtain quality, qualified instructors,” said Andrew M. McLaughlin, secretary of elementary education for the archdiocesan Office of Catholic Education.

Staff in his office and Immaculata work together “to meet the needs of each educator and to mentor them in the beginning stages of their teaching career,” he said.

“Immaculata University is honored to help educate the outstanding teachers who dedicate their careers to furthering the mission of Catholic education,” said Melissa Reed, chair of the Division of Education at the university, which under the direction of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary since its founding in 1920, today offers more than 70 undergraduate and graduate programs and is home to 24 NCAA athletic teams.

For more information on the Archdiocesan Teacher Residency Program, contact Sister Edward Quinn, I.H.M., in the archdiocesan Office of Catholic Education at sr.equinn@archphila.org.