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Sacramento Metro Special Education Teacher Residency (SMSTR)




SMSTR engages diverse future educators in a year-long intensive apprenticeship under the guidance of effective mentors where evidence-based practices are seamlessly aligned with coursework.


SMSTR collaboratively cultivates diverse, innovative, joyful, and student-centered teachers who effectively create inclusive and equitable educational opportunities for diverse children and youth with disabilities within a supportive and effective community of lifelong learners.


Why Choose a Residency?

Research suggests that well-designed and well-implemented teacher residency models can create long-term benefits for districts, for schools, and ultimately and most importantly, for the students they serve. Key benefits include increased teacher recruitment diversity, higher teacher retention, and greater student outcomes.

Guha, Tyler, & Darling-Hammond (2017)

Our teacher residency is committed to growing the Sacramento region's next generation of education specialists while also advancing inclusive practices in our schools for students with disabilities. We will do this by recruiting Residents and Mentors who are also committed to advancing the equity and access of ALL students and providing a year-long intensive apprenticeship experience. Students often choose to pursue the Residency versus an Internship (whereby they work as the teacher of record while completing their credential) for many reasons including:

  1. The Commitment

    Residents are drawn to our commitment to advancing equity and inclusion for students with disabilities. Our mentors are advocates, our coursework teaches the skills to be both an effective and inclusive educator as well as advocate, and our partner districts are committed to disrupting inequities and making progress toward inclusive education for students with disabilities.

  2. Community

    Joining a community of Residents and Mentors in their future place of employment is what leads to Residents feeling supported and connected. When accepted into SMSTR, Residents join a closely connected cohort across the special education credentials (in addition to their cohort within their credential) where they attend events and monthly seminars together, engage with expert teachers (district Mentors), and develop job-specific skills within the district where they are 4 years.

  3. Experts

    The Residency is intense with coursework closely aligned with their fieldwork experience where they spend the entire year learning from and alongside their mentor teacher within their program and/or classroom. Residents often choose this scholarship program because they are interested in being placed with an expert in the field (rather than be the lead teacher as an intern) because they want to spend time learning from them and gradually taking on more responsibility within the safe and trusted space with their mentor teacher.
  4. Financial Support

    The Residency is a scholarship program with Residents receiving funding for tuition, books, and tests. Additionally, they are supported in identifying and applying for additional funding including the Golden State Teacher Grant (up to $20,000) and other funding sources.

Our Partners

The Sac Metro Sped Teacher Residency partners are excited to grow our region’s exceptional special education teachers. You could be placed in one of our 10 local school districts.


Am I eligible?

Do you:

  • Have your bachelor’s degree (or will by next Summer)?
  • Aspire to advance equity and inclusion for students with disabilities within our school systems?
  • Want to join a supportive community of colleagues within your future place of employment?
  • Intend to apply to one of Sac State’s special education programs?

Then you should apply to be a Resident in our Sacramento Metro Special Education Teacher Residency!

Learn More!

Attend one of our information sessions to learn more about our special education programs and then stay for the final half hour to learn specifically about SMSTR. RSVP for an in-person information session or one of our virtual live webinars.

I’m interested!

Are you interested in our SMSTR scholarship program? Click the button below! This interest form will allow us to stay connected with you and answer your questions.

I’m Interested!

Ready to Apply?

To apply to SMSTR, you will follow the application procedures for the specific special education program that interests you. Applications for the next cohort that begins each Summer are due February 1. After February 1st, you will be contacted to sign up for an interview day; at this time, you will indicate your interest in applying to SMSTR by choosing the SMSTR interview day.

Learn about pre-requisites for the credential programs, download the application and resources, and see who to contact for help with your application.

Apply Here


Contact our SMSTR Coordinator, Dr. Cindy Collado, or 916-278-4616.