City school district receives $1.1M grant to expand teaching program

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The Rochester City School District has been awarded a $1.1M grant from the New York State Department of Labor for its ROC Urban Teaching Fellows program. The program launched in September of 2022, provides teacher training and seeks to improve retention, by offering future educators hands-on classroom experience, employment, and mentorship. 

The funding will cover a portion of tuition and living expenses for fellows enrolled in the program for the upcoming ’24 – ’25 and ’25 – ’26 school years at the University of Rochester (U-of-R) and Nazareth University. 

While in the program, fellows receive a competitive salary with benefits and assistance with their college tuition. In exchange, they commit to teaching for at least two years in the district after successfully completing the program. 

During their first year, teacher candidates work full-time in RCSD classrooms, side-by-side with experienced mentor teachers. Simultaneously, they pursue a master’s degree leading to initial NYS teacher certification. These are enrolled in master’s programs at the U-of-R and Nazareth University.

After successfully completing the first year of training, ROC Urban Teaching fellows receive offers of employment to continue teaching in RCSD classrooms. 

Six teachers successfully completied the program during its inaugural year in 2022-2023. 

The New York State Education Department expects New York State to need 180,000 new teachers in the next decade.

More information about the ROC Urban Teaching Fellows Program here.