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collage of educational images
  • January 24, 2022
  • Roger Coda

Two students from the College of Education will be in the inaugural cohort of student-teachers in the new NYC Teaching Academy. The opportunity will provide robust, paid clinical student teaching experiences in a New York City school in the Spring 2022 semester.

Akya Andrews, a senior majoring in Adolescence Education: Social Studies, and Jocelyn McCurdy, a senior Early Childhood and Childhood Education major, will be placed in high-need, high-performing public schools under the guidance of clinical supervisors and New York City Department of Education cooperating teachers and administrators.

Both aspiring teachers are originally from Brooklyn, so this opportunity will allow them to complete their capstone experience close to home.

“NYC Teaching Academies are designed to support pre-service teachers’ preparation for the joys and complex challenges of teaching in New York City public schools,” said Debra Karpinske-Keyser, director of the Office of Field Experiences at Fredonia. “NYC Teaching Academies host pre-service teachers in high-need certification areas predominantly within districts that have the greatest hiring needs.”

The pre-service teachers will receive an immersive classroom experience, working alongside a cooperating teacher who has been trained as a development facilitator who will provide individualized coaching and feedback, Mrs. Karpinske-Keyser explained. Teacher candidates will gradually assume greater independence and responsibility for lesson design and delivery.

“This is the first time our students have had the opportunity to be selected for this program,” Karpinske-Keyser noted.

Unlike traditional student-teacher placements that end around the middle of May, the inaugural NYC Teaching Academy program will extend to June 3.

The NYC Teaching Academy program differs from the SUNY Urban Teacher Education Center (SUTEC), a program that also places pre-service teachers in New York City schools, by providing $2,500 stipends to pre-service teachers during their student-teaching experience. Fredonia has had a longstanding partnership with SUTEC.

“Students benefit from diversifying their experience and positioning themselves to be hired by NYC or other districts that realize the benefit of this placement,” said Janeil Rey, interim dean of Fredonia’s College of Education.

Through the NYC Teaching Academy, pre-service teachers will have an opportunity to build or deepen relationships with the New York City Department of Education and its 46 districts. The College of Education maintains partnerships with school districts across New York State as well as in Texas and Mexico to provide student teaching placements in a wide variety of school settings.

“This new program expands options for our students to have a rich and rewarding student teaching experience and be well prepared to enter the profession in high-needs districts,” Dr. Rey noted.