Xavier University, the historically Black educational institution in New Orleans, has established an innovative new program which will be known as the Norman C. Francis Residency program. Dr. Francis stepped down as president of Xavier University in June 2015. At that time, he was the longest-serving college or university president in the United States.
The new teacher residency program is based on the successful formula used by medical schools. Candidates for the program will be college graduates, with preference given to those with degrees in STEM fields and successful professionals who want a career change and are interested in teaching.
Students in the program will receive extensive training in the New Orleans public school system under the supervision of a mentor. They will also take traditional coursework leading to a master’s degree in teaching.
The new program is designed to develop a pool of talented local teachers who are more reflective of the student demographics of the New Orleans public schools. It is hoped that the residency program will also improve teacher quality and lead to higher teacher retention rates.