How do I apply and what is the application process?

See the Become a Resident section of our website to learn about eligibility, how to apply, and requirements. The application deadline for the 2018-19 academic year is January 19, 2018.  All materials must be received by the deadline (including STR reference forms and any test scores) in order to be considered for next year’s cohort. Please see the How to Apply pages for more information.

What happens after I apply?

Applications are reviewed by an Admissions Committee and applicants will be notified by early March as to whether or not they have been invited to attend STR Selection Day. Selection Day is an all day event in which applicants will interview with STR faculty and staff, teach a mini-lesson, and engage in a variety of educational activities designed to see if the residency program is the right fit.  STR Selection Day is scheduled to take place on March 15-16, 2018 and is a mandatory part of the STR Application process. Applicants can choose which day works best with their schedule.  Out-of-state candidates are strongly encouraged to attend if invited to Selection Day, but if this is not possible, there will be a remote interview option.

What programs does the Seattle Teacher Residency offer?

For the 2018-19 academic year, there will be two programs offered through the Seattle Teacher Residency – the Elementary Education Program which prepares teachers to teach in grades K-5 and the Special Education Program which prepares teachers to teach in special education classrooms at the elementary school level. Both groups will take classes together as part of the residency cohort but the practicum experience will differ as residents will be placed in either a traditional classroom or a special education classroom during the residency year.

How long is the preparation for residents before teaching in their own classroom?

Residents complete a 14-month preparation (5 quarters) as full time students, much of which will be in a school identified as high needs within Seattle Public Schools. After two months of initial summer coursework and field-based learning at a Seattle summer-intensive school, residents will spend the entire academic year in a SPS classroom teaching alongside an experienced mentor and applying theory to practice through rigorous coursework. This combination helps residents link classroom experience to the latest in education theory and research, all within the context of the local education environment and district-specific goals. There may be some part-time coursework related to the resident’s second endorsement which will need to be completed in the fall of the resident’s first year of teaching.

When does the program start? What is the time requirement involved?

Instruction for the 2018-19 cohort will begin in late June 2018 and the program runs full-time through summer 2019 (with some breaks and vacations – mostly tied to the SPS school calendar). Internships with mentor teachers during the residency year will be accompanied by coursework that is held one day a week (Fridays) and one evening a week (Tuesdays), plus one Saturday per month. This is a full-time program as residents are expected to manage coursework on top of teaching responsibilities and planning as a resident teacher in a Seattle school. Working outside of the program is not encouraged and has proven difficult for most residents.

What courses will Residents take in the program?

Please visit the this University of Washington webpage to see a sample STR course sequence from a previous year, which includes the first 5 quarters of the program. Please note that the coursework is subject to change from year to year.

Do Seattle Teacher Residents focus on a specific teaching subject?

For 2018-19 residents will be prepared to be general education elementary teachers or special education teachers in an elementary school. Elementary residents also commit to pursuing a second endorsement in either ELL or Special Education, which were identified as areas of need in Seattle Public Schools. Residents in the Special Education program will be commit to dual endorsement in Special Education and Elementary Education.

What grades do residents teach?

During the residency year, residents will be partnered with a mentor teacher in a K-5 classroom or a K-5 special education classroom. Our goal is to connect residents with some of the most outstanding teachers in the district who model the approaches and leadership we hope to instill in our residents. Residents who successfully complete the program will be placed in SPS elementary classrooms or special education classrooms in high needs schools and are based on district hiring needs. The goal is to increase student achievement in Seattle’s greatest need schools.

How are residents matched with mentor teachers?

There is a comprehensive mentor/resident matching process which takes place in the spring/early summer where both resident and mentor will have time to meet and identify potential partners. Mentors in the STR program must apply to be mentors and must be recommended by their principals in order to be selected. Mentors are chosen for their ability to coach others, their passion for teaching, and their exemplary classroom teaching skills. Mentors receive ongoing training and support through the program to enhance and build upon their own coaching and mentoring skills.

Will all residents receive a job within Seattle Public Schools?

While the program prepares candidates to teach in high-needs schools in Seattle, all hiring is within the exclusive authority of Seattle Public Schools (SPS).  As such, STR cannot guarantee that everyone who completes the program will be offered employment at SPS.  However, SPS is a collaborating partner in this program and residents who successfully complete the program and internship may, subject to SPS discretion, receive an initial contingency contract and may be invited to participate in Phase I of the interview process for new teachers (typically in the spring). STR residents commit to teaching in in a high needs SPS school for 5 years.

What type of teaching license do residents receive?

Upon completion of the resident year, residents receive a Washington State K-8 Elementary Education Residency Teaching Certification and a Masters in Teaching degree from the University of Washington College of Education.  Residents are also eligible for a second endorsement in either ELL or Special Education after completing a practicum while teaching as full-time teachers in SPS schools in the fall after the residency year.

What is the cost of a Masters in Teaching from the University of Washington? Am I reimbursed for tuition costs?

Tuition costs for a Masters in Teaching program at the University of Washington can be found here. All STR residents receive in-state tuition at UW as a benefit of the STR program. Most residents apply for financial aid through the University of Washington to pay for tuition costs and to help pay living expenses. Information about the FAFSA and other forms of financial aid can be found on the UW financial aid website.

Residents receive a stipend of $16,500 which is spread out over the 14 month residency year to help pay for living expenses and costs associated with the program. There are some additional tuition reimbursement opportunities available in addition to financial aid and loans such as a Federal Loan Forgiveness program for teachers who teach for 5 years in a Title One school. More information can be found here.

Am I eligible for the Seattle Teacher Residency if I have a teaching license from another state?

You are eligible to apply to the STR program if you have a teaching license from another state. If you are certified to teach in another state, please upload a copy of your certification information when you apply to the program.

Do I have to be a Washington resident to be eligible for the Seattle Teacher Residency?

No. Our program does not have any state residency requirements, although you must live in the Seattle area during your participation in the program and you will be expected to commit to teaching in Seattle Public Schools for five years after your resident year. As a bonus, all out-of-state residents will receive in-state tuition at the UW, which makes the program much more affordable for those attending from out of state.

Does Seattle Teacher Residency provide housing?

STR does not provide housing. As a UW Graduate student, residents may be eligible for graduate housing. More information can be found through the UW here.

Is the Seattle Teacher Residency associated with other teacher residency programs across the country?

The Seattle Teacher Residency is its own program in Seattle with four unique partners coming together to offer a new form of teacher preparation with the goal of preparing teachers for the unique challenges of teaching in Seattle Public Schools. STR does receive guidance and technical support as a partner in the National Center for Teacher Residencies, a national network of the country’s highest-performing residency programs. Visit the NCTR page here for an overview of the urban teacher residency model and to learn about similar programs across the country.

How can I learn more about the Seattle Teacher Residency program? Can I speak with a STR resident to learn more?

You can follow the program on our Facebook page or through the STR blog. We have several resident bloggers who will be sharing their experience about the program and what it is like to be a STR resident. There will also be several Information Sessions taking place this Fall in the Seattle area for prospective applicants to learn more about the program. Fill out an inquiry form to be sent application updates and information about upcoming STR events.

Who do I contact if I have questions about the program or the application process?

If you have additional questions after reviewing the information on this website, please feel free to email us at  We are happy to set up a phone advising session to get your questions answered.  Thank you for your interest in the STR program!