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PrePARE: Pre-Service Preparation Advanced Residency Experience

Strengthening Educator Development and School Support

Program Overview

The University of Wyoming College of Education has initiated and implemented a program called PrePARE (Pre-Service Preparation Advanced Residency Experience) to build robust, year-long student residencies to strengthen pre-service educator development and support school personnel while supporting students. PrePARE is currently in pilot in two Wyoming districts, Laramie County School District #1 (LCSD1) with four students and Natrona County School District #1 (NCSD1) with one student. The current PrePARE partners from these districts are: LCSD1 – Dildine Elementary, Meadowlark Elementary, Davis Elementary, Afflerbach Elementary; NCSD1 – Pineview Elementary.

The program is designed to simultaneously support both students and districts by allowing dual majors in Elementary and Special Education to serve as paraprofessionals in the fall, while taking their methods courses online. Students in the program are also placed in the schools where they will be student teaching in the spring, allowing them to work with their student teaching mentor teachers and students long before student teaching officially begins. During their time as paras, PrePARE students are considered employees of the district and are paid for their time at the school. Students in PrePARE work between 25-30 hours per week and this work schedule ensure they have the capacity to attend to their course requirements and obligations.


Benefitting Students and Districts

Participation in the program is beneficial to both the students and the districts in which they are placed. Students in the PrePARE program are provided the opportunity to participate in a school year from start to finish. Within their placements, they work with a variety of students with (and without) disabilities across different grade levels, allowing them to directly apply and observe learning from their methods courses in real-time. PrePARE students are paid for their work during the fall semester, making it possible to participate in the program and engage in residency experiences for an entire school year. Additionally, the experience PrePARE students gain in the fall, ultimately sets the stage to expedite the gradual release process during student teaching. Consequently, students may spend more time serving as lead teachers. Finally, the PrePARE program creates an avenue for districts in need of quality paraprofessionals to hire PrePARE students to serve in these roles. Hiring dedicated, passionate, and eager to learn pre-service educators ensures schools retain paraprofessional support and provides space for districts to offer unique trainings and professional development specific to their schools and community. Building relationships with PrepPARE students has the potential to shift students from district paraprofessionals and student teachers to full-time educators within the district once students have graduated and completed their PrePARE experience.


Supporting Students and District Participants

Throughout a student’s time in PrePARE, Associate Lecturer at the University of Wyoming, Dr. Tiffany Hunt observes students in action joining them in their classrooms and observing small group instruction. Dr. Hunt’s support also comes in the form of whole group, bi-weekly meetings to discuss the PrePARE students' experience, address concerns and/or questions, and highlight how students' learning in methods courses translates into their current real-life settings. Additionally Dr. Hunt Connects regularly with mentor teachers and school administrators to ensure PrePARE students are meeting expectations and the have the necessary supports and structures in place to be successful.


Interested in a Year-Long Residency Program?

Districts interested in joining the PrePARE program are invited to contact Dr. Hunt directly at

Contact Us

McWhinnie Hall, Room 213

Dept. 3374, 1000 E. University Ave.

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307-766-3274


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