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Urban Teaching Fellowships Have Positive Impact at Chelsea Public Schools

Urban teaching fellowships through the Van Loan School at Endicott College at Chelsea Public Schools.
Van Loan School at Endicott College students gain hands-on classroom experience while connecting with young students.

The Van Loan School at Endicott College expanded its Teaching Fellows Master of Education Program in 2017, giving three students – Alexandra Pagano, Emily Paladino, and McKenzie Guevarez – the opportunity to hone their skills within an urban setting in Chelsea, Mass.

The early results have been impressive.  

“The teacher candidates are completely over the moon about it,” Aubry Threlkeld, director, graduate teaching licensing programs, said. “This is something they’ve wanted to do. They are having great experiences. Many of them are already being considered for future jobs in the district.”

This important addition to the Endicott Teaching Fellowship has extended the program’s reach through a Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education grant, which allows for program development, support from outside consultants, and curricular revisions to better prepare teachers in all areas.

“Our school districts that are strapped for resources can now count on Endicott College to help provide support for our state’s neediest students,” Threlkeld said.

Through this program, recent undergraduates mature in a year-long field placement before taking a full-time teaching job. Fellowship students may have up to three licenses, a master’s degree, and 3,000-plus hours of experience by the time they graduate, all while completing the hybrid class program – 80 percent online and 20 percent in-person.

“I believe that having the master’s program with the full-day experience is awesome because we’re right away putting those practices we are learning about into our teaching,” Paladino said.  

Pagano added: “I thought it would be great to truly be in an environment where I could get the full experience instead of just taking classes. I feel that as a teacher, you learn most of what you know through field work. I love how you get to have that experience.”

While all three Chelsea fellows graduated Endicott College with a bachelor’s degree, 50 percent of applications now come from outside Endicott, helping grow the class size from 14 students a few years ago to being in the 27-30 range annually. And those fellowship students are seeing how the program is preparing teachers schools want and need.

“If I didn’t have this, I feel I wouldn’t be as prepared to help my students,” Guevarez said. “Undergrad does a great job in preparing you for that, but this takes it to the next level.”

Learn more about the Van Loan School at Endicott College’s M.Ed. Teaching Fellows Program