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University of California Launches Transitional Kindergarten Residency Program

June 17, 2024

Prospective transitional kindergarten teachers have a new opportunity to jump-start their careers through the newly launched University of California Transitional Kindergarten Residency Program.

Residents who partake in the program can earn their multiple subject credentials, complete 24 units in early childhood education and be placed in a regional transitional kindergarten (TK) worksite in Merced County, Los Angeles County or the San Francisco Bay Area. The one-year accelerated program begins this fall. There are 60 seats available - 20 at each location.

"This is a real commitment to meeting Gov. Gavin Newsom's initiative to have 4-year-olds enrolled in transitional kindergarten in their neighborhood schools across California by the 2025-2026 school year. This collaboration will contribute to having qualified TK teachers on the first day of school," said Marianna Harris, director of Education Programs at UC Merced Extension. "I am proud to be a part of this teacher residency offering for our Merced region. This is a transformational teaching opportunity for people who want to work with our early learners."

The Commission on Teacher Credentialing awarded $2.4 million for 60 residents placed in Merced, L.A. and the Bay Area for the next three years. Each resident receives a compensation package of $24,087, a 24% reduction in tuition and fees, and any additional funding or financial aid for which they are eligible.

California needs over 15,000 TK teachers by the 2025-2026 school year. On average, a California TK teacher earns $84,700 per year. That is $42,100 more than Center-Based Teachers with bachelor's degrees and $49,500 more than FCC Providers with bachelor's degrees.

"The collaborative partnership between UC Merced, UCLA, UC Berkeley and the Merced County Office of Education is a model for other teacher preparation programs (TPP). UCTK offers an opportunity for TPPs to recruit diverse teachers to become teacher residents in TK classrooms while working on their California teaching credentials," said Harris.


UCTK Admissions Requirements

  • A bachelor's degree in any field

  • Passage of Basic Skills Requirement

  • Passage of Subject Matter Competency Requirement

  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0

  • Certificate of Clearance from the CTC

  • Located in or willing to relocate to Merced County, Los Angeles County, or the San Francisco Bay Area

Completion of 24 units in Early Childhood Education is not a requirement for admission. Full admissions requirements can be found here.

Interested applicants can attend virtual information sessions on June 25 and July 2. Program advisors are also available for 1:1 consultation sessions.

Alyssa Johansen

Alyssa Johansen HeadshotPublic Information Officer

Office: (209) 413-9330