Denver Teacher Residency Program Evaluation

The Denver Teacher Residency (DTR) program is a one-year, pre-service, alternative certification program designed to train and support career changers and recent college graduates in becoming teachers in high-need schools and subject areas within Denver Public Schools (DPS) for a minimum of five years. The program operates as a partnership between DPS and the University of Denver (DU) Morgridge College of Education.

During the 14-month residency-cohort year, program participants complete the necessary requirements to receive a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction at DU while simultaneously teaching and learning alongside a mentor teacher in a DPS classroom. AIR is conducting a five-year evaluation of this program, which is designed to monitor program implementation, measure program effectiveness, and explore program mechanisms.

Research Questions

  1. What are strengths of the program? How could program implementation be improved?
  2. What is the impact of the program?
  3. What factors explain DTR resident attrition?
  4. What factors motivate applicants to apply to the program?
  5. What factors predict whether a teacher will be a successful lead teacher?
  6. How do lead teachers perceive their role within the program?
  7. What factors do principals consider in deciding whether to hire DTR alumni?


As part of the mixed-methods approach, yearly site visits and interviews are conducted to obtain qualitative data. The site coordinator, principal, and selected resident or lead teacher pairs are interviewed at the various host sites, and DTR program staff and partners are interviewed by phone. Surveys are administered to principals who have hired DTR alumni as teachers of record in DPS schools to understand how the alumni are performing as full-time teachers.