Program Overview

Prepared to Teach

Having a great teacher is the single most important school-based factor in successful outcomes for kids. Our internship program prepares people to have exceptional teaching careers through a hands-on licensure program in just 10 months.

Our licensure program is designed for college graduates who are interested in pursuing a teaching career.  

Experiential Learning

The UVEI model differs significantly from university graduate programs in education.  Believing that teaching is an art best learned through practice, UVEI reverses the percentage of time traditionally allotted to academic theory (with us, 20%) vs. classroom practice (80%).  In our internship, each candidate works full-time in a classroom under the supervision of a mentor, chosen from among the best professionals in the region.

This 10 month internship focuses on the mastery of 10 teaching competencies, all of which must be demonstrated by the intern in order to graduate.  This experience is reinforced by weekly seminars and by observation and support from UVEI faculty coaches, who are highly-experienced educators.  At the end of their internships, graduates have integrated theory and practice as they acquire a full year of teaching experience.

UVEI’s reputation for preparing outstanding teachers is very well-respected. By the end of the preparation period, UVEI graduates have worked in two schools, at two grade levels, and are ready to enter the profession as teachers who have a strong sense of what 21st Century learners need to succeed. Schools that hire UVEI graduates know that they are getting a teacher who not only has demonstrated teaching ability but who has alrady spent a year in the classroom.  In a challenging job market, such a combination of prior learning and superior preparation makes UVEI’s graduates much sought-after.

How the Program Works

Interns begin with a self-directed induction period in July, an orientation in August and ongoing seminars that take place once-a-week from August through early June.  In the classroom, their responsibilities are increased gradually and deliberately. They instruct classes, work with small groups of students, and otherwise function as real teachers. They are expected to report to school early, attend staff meetings and parent conferences, assess student work and prepare materials at home.

There are times during the year when the pressures on interns of the program become quite great. This pressure is neither accidental nor contrived. Pressure in teaching is a reality with which interns must learn to cope with skill, resilience and humor.

Work Side by Side with a Mentor Teacher 

The mentor teachers in whose classes interns work are chosen from among the best professionals in the region. Interns are observed and supported by faculty coaches on the UVEI staff who are also highly experienced educators. The purpose of the seminars and the aim of the mentor teachers are the same:  to help interns develop and prove their competence as classroom teachers. Demonstrating each of 10 teaching competencies is by far the most important requirement for successful completion of the program.