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Bridge to the City

Nancy Ivanovic ’17 offers some one-on-one instruction while student-teaching fifth-graders at Community Roots Charter School.Bridge to the City has provides students in the Inclusive Elementary and Early Childhood undergraduate programs with a guided student teaching experience in a challenging urban environment, while connecting New York City schools to the School of Education’s faculty, resources, and graduates.

Since 2003, this unique opportunity has allowed teacher candidates to sharpen your skills and broaden their perspectives on cultures, families, and professional practices. Students in Inclusive Elementary and Special Education and Inclusive Early Childhood and Special Education  programs can participate in Bridge to the City in the fall of their senior year.

The application deadline for Fall 2021 is November 12, 2020.

Before you begin your application, be sure you have the following ready:

  • Current Resume
  • Letter of Interest (500 words or less) discussing the your commitment to urban teaching and reason(s) for seeking a student teaching placement in New York City
  • Three references, at least two of them from the Inclusive Program (faculty, supervisors, cooperating teachers, etc.)
  • Information on up to 6 Field Placements, including Supervisor.

The selection committee looks for and considers:

  • Overall academic and field performance.
  • Organization and attention to detail.
  • Commitments to urban teaching, inviting and responding to feedback, and working with/valuing diverse student populations.
  • Abilities to work independently, adapt easily, and work effectively and respectfully with students, peers, university and school staff.

Financial Support and Housing

At The Neighborhood School in Manhattan, Dagmo Yusuf ’17 (left) guides first-graders while accompanied by their teacher, Chelsea Crawford.

Students accepted into Bridge to The City must be registered as full-time students at the University, enrolled in all the appropriate courses and seminars their program requires during the student teaching semester. Students must meet with their Financial Aid advisor to determine the level of support they will receive for housing in NYC for the semester of their placements (usually similar to the level of support they receive on campus). All students are expected to pay for their own food and transportation expenses.

The School of Education arranges housing for all of our students who student-teach in NYC; students are expected to live in the university-arranged housing, not with family or friends who might live in the area. Part of the strength of the program is living in a community with other SU student teachers and experiencing the city together.

Placements and Coursework

Students have two 7-week general or special education student teaching placements. The School of Education has partnerships with schools across NYC, including Community Roots School, PS 212 Midtown West, and PS 363 Neighborhood School; many of these schools have alumni working there. We place at least 2 student teachers at each school at a time, allowing for students to travel to and from the schools in groups. Placements are accessible from student housing by public transportation or within walking distance.

School of Education director of field relations Thomas Bull (above) sits in at a third-grade classroom at Community Roots Charter School in Brooklyn.Just like in other parts of the inclusive program, student teachers in NYC are observed and provided feedback by SU supervisors including retired educators, current doctoral students, or other educators. The supervisor will know the expectations of the program, provide feedback, and serve as a liaison with faculty.

Courses during the Bridge to the City semester are arranged to fit in the NYC student teaching schedule. Students participate in these courses virtually from the Fisher Center in midtown Manhattan, one night per week. Part of the courses may also be held on campus in a concentrated fashion before student teaching begins or during a short school break to allow NYC students to attend.

Program Contact

Thomas Bull, Assistant Teaching Professor; Director of Field Relations
thbull@syr.edu|315.440.2183
Thomas Bull