SUNY Oswego awarded $553,448 to pilot innovative teacher preparation

OSWEGO — The state Education Department awarded SUNY Oswego $553,448 in Race to the Top funding for an intensive teacher preparation program in high-need schools that also will enhance the college’s model of undergraduate teacher education going forward.

The grant will enable SUNY Oswego’s School of Education to partner with the Syracuse City School District to deliver a pilot program to include a semester-long, full-time teaching residency for undergraduates in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL).

Dr. Pat Russo co-directs the grant with fellow SUNY Oswego education professors Dr. Jean Ann and Dr. Bruce Long Peng, who have guided development of TESOL at the college for 14 years.

Russo said the program’s “clinically rich” teacher preparation model may be modified over time, but ultimately would serve as a template for training science, mathematics, social studies and other student educators.

“We are excited about this award,” Russo said. “At SUNY Oswego, we have been regularly improving our teacher preparation programs for 150 years. This grant will provide the resources for us to make a significant transition into the next generation of teacher preparation.”

The main goal of the intensive on-site teacher preparation provided by the TESOL pilot is to improve the academic achievement of K-12 English language learners.

But Russo pointed out the experience is also designed to benefit the SUNY Oswego students selected for the program, their teacher-mentors in Syracuse schools and SUNY Oswego faculty that will go into the classroom to work with teachers and pre-teachers.

“It’s a learning experience for all of us,” Russo said. “During the period of this grant we will collect data on the effectiveness of this program, and make adjustments to improve upon our process.”

SUNY Cortland received a Race to the Top award of $429,127 for its clinically rich pilot program for pre-teachers in science and math disciplines in the Binghamton City School District.

With Oswego’s award, that accounts for nearly $1 million of the $9 million that eventually will be awarded statewide, Russo said.

Race to the Top is a competitive federal program administered by the states to promote ambitious yet achievable innovations in education.

For more information on SUNY Oswego’s teacher preparation programs, visit