VCU School of Education to study long-term impact of urban teacher residency model

 Terry Dozier, Ed.D.
Terry Dozier, Ed.D.

The Virginia Commonwealth University School of Education has been awarded a three-year, $615,549 evaluation extension from the U.S. Department of Education to study the long-term impact of the urban teacher residency model of teacher preparation on a beginning teacher’s professional growth and teaching effectiveness. 

The grant builds on the current evaluation of the Richmond Teacher Residency program, which focuses on teacher retention and impact on student achievement by providing an in-depth study of residents’ professional development beyond the residency year. The newly funded study will also examine how contextual factors, such as a school’s climate or administrator support, may affect the program’s influence. 

“This prestigious new USDOE grant is both an important recognition of RTR’s progress to date and a testament to the dedicated efforts of VCU and Richmond Public Schools leaders who believe that RTR is a sustainable pipeline of highly effective teachers committed to RPS for the long term,” said Terry Dozier, Ed.D., the RTR program director.

Lisa Abrams, Ph.D.
Lisa Abrams, Ph.D.

The study will investigate which RTR program components and preparation features are most associated with teaching effectiveness and how the impact may vary by context. VCU was one of only 11 programs nationally that received an evaluation extension award. 

“RTR is an innovative and promising model of teacher preparation for urban education,” said Jesse Senechal, Ph.D., associate director of the Metropolitan Educational Research Consortium and lead evaluator on the study. “This evaluation grant will help us better understand how the RTR model is currently working and how it can be developed for broader impact.”

“This funding leverages evaluation efforts across a variety of teacher preparation programs nationally in an effort to clearly identify the program features most critically associated with success,” said Lisa Abrams, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Foundations of Education and senior evaluator on the study. “These efforts have the potential to make a significant contribution to what we know about effective teacher preparation.”

For more information, contact Dozier at 804-828-0387.

About VCU and VCU Health

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 30,000 students in 233 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Twenty-two of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 11 schools and three colleges. The VCU Health brand represents the VCU health sciences academic programs, the VCU Massey Cancer Center and the VCU Health System, which comprises VCU Medical Center (the only academic medical center in the region), Community Memorial Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, and MCV Physicians. The clinical enterprise includes a collaboration with Sheltering Arms Institute for physical rehabilitation services. For more, please visit and