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Yearlong RISE Program Recognized by AACTE as Outstanding Program of Practice

St. John's University RISE Group Shot
Thursday, July 27, 2017

The RISE Program is being recognized by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) as an outstanding program of practice. In October, AACTE spent a day with RISE, filming the program in action and interviewing students, faculty members, and school-based partners. AACTE is creating a series of videos about RISE that will be distributed to their membership as an example of outstanding clinical practice.

In an effort to train more effective teachers, St. John’s University’s RISE (Residency Internship for St. John’s Educators) program embeds education majors in a public school where they spend an entire year student teaching beginning in the first semester of senior year. It is one of the few programs of its kind for undergraduates and believed to be the only program of its kind in the New York area.

In all, the seniors spend an extra 200 hours student teaching, emerging from the program as more experienced and, therefore, better qualified and more desirable teacher candidates. Traditionally undergraduates student teach in the last semester of senior year.

Erika Prevost, a graduate of last year’s pilot program which took place at PS 101Q (The School in the Gardens) in Queens, now teaches first grade at PS 60 in Woodhaven, one of three sites for this year’s program; the other schools are North Side School in East Williston, NY, and the Queens Gateway to Health Sciences Secondary School in Queens, NY. The program launched with four seniors in one school and it now has 16 students in four schools, with six St. John’s faculty members embedded in the schools for university-level instruction.

The student teachers intern a 12 to 15 hours two days a week during the fall semester and have a five-day residency during the spring semester, teaching throughout the entire grade spectrum (North Side and PS 60 are elementary schools, while Gateway and Wheatley are high schools).Some students’ university-level education also takes place in the school.

“Research from the biggest names in teacher preparation indicates that teacher candidates are better prepared when their field placements bridge the gap between university- and school-based training—theory versus practice—because there is less fragmentation and better content, says Faculty Director  Liz Chase, Ed.D., who also teaches the students their coursework on site.

The program is the brainchild of Michael Sampson, Ph.D., Dean of The School of Education at St. John’s University. This year, education seniors can opt into the program. The University expects the program will be to scale in the 2018/2019 school year, with all seniors participating in the program by 2019–20.

The RISE program is being recognized by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) as an outstanding program of practice. These videos can be viewed at