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Teaching Apprentice Program

Earn Your M.ED.

A collaborative residency program with Lesley University designed for aspiring elementary, middle, and high school teachers. Earn your M.Ed. in one year while gaining direct classroom experience.

About the Program

The Teaching Apprentice Program (TAP) is a Masters in Education Program designed for highly motivated adults who want to learn and practice successful teaching skills by immersing themselves in a full time teaching apprenticeship program.

It is our belief that true learning and growth occurs while working alongside seasoned and dedicated mentor teachers. Our apprentices receive individualized guidance, support and feedback from their mentor teacher, the on-site program director, and one another during their time on Berwick's hilltop.

During the first summer, the apprentices build a solid foundation in education theories by enrolling in four graduate courses. In late August, they join the Berwick Academy faculty and begin applying their knowledge through supervised teaching and seminar discussions. During the year, apprentices actively participate in the Berwick community: developing curriculum, teaching lessons, participating in parent-teacher conferences, and joining in additional school enrichment activities of their interests, such as coaching. At Berwick Academy, apprentices are valued and contributing members of the school community.

The TAP program is open to individuals who are intellectually curious and passionate about teaching. Prior experience working with students is preferred, but not required. We encourage people of varying ages, experiences, and backgrounds to apply.

* Note: This is an unpaid degree program with tuition. We are seeking applicants who have the following qualifications:
  • Completion of a B.S. or B.A. with a GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • A keen commitment to becoming a teacher
  • A focused and diligent work ethic


List of 11 frequently asked questions.

  • Why is a residency program a great option for a Master’s in Education program?

    A wide body of research supports the value of teacher education programs that include full time internships such as we offer at Berwick. While coursework is certainly important, there is nothing that can compare to the opportunity to learn from an experienced mentor every day. The apprenticeship at Berwick offers students extensive time in classrooms, and spaces to put into practice what they are learning and discussing in their courses. Teaching apprentices at Berwick are immersed full-time in our community and are viewed by colleagues and students as integral to our academic, athletics, and arts programs.
  • Will I have my teaching license/certification upon completion?

    While this is not a state-approved licensure program, the State of Maine has many alternative pathways to certification. In fact, the majority of public school teachers in Maine achieved licensure through an alternative pathway. I’ll be happy to chat with you more about how to apply for licensure directly to the state.
  • Does this program include licensure (teacher certification)?

    At this time, the program at Berwick is non-licensure. Most apprentices in our program hope to work in an independent school environment, where state licensure is not a requirement.
  • Where do Teaching Apprentices typically find employment after completing the program?

    Nearly all of our graduates find employment at independent schools. A few have chosen to pursue work in charter schools or educational non-profits.
  • When does this program begin and end?

    The first summer of coursework begins June 1st, and the program typically ends by mid-July the following summer, but this varies depending on which courses are taken in the second summer and the dates for those.
  • How often will I need to travel to Cambridge for classes at Lesley?

    For the first summer, one of the four courses is on campus at Berwick, and the other three are at Lesley, either on campus or online (depending on the course). Once the school year apprenticeship at Berwick begins, courses are either at Berwick taught by Berwick faculty, online at Lesley, or at Lesley with a “weekend intensive” model. Apprentices do not commute to Cambridge regularly for courses during the school year.
  • What will my on-campus apprenticeship look like?

    The apprenticeship begins in late August with an orientation to Berwick with all new faculty, and ends in early June when the school year ends. Apprentices have two “placements” per year, one from August to late December, and another in early February through the end of the school year. In each semester, apprentices work with a faculty mentor and are deeply involved in teaching classes alongside mentor teachers. Mentors support the growth of apprentices, and regular observation and feedback is given by mentors as well as the program director. For the month of January, apprentices engage in workshops to prepare for the job search, off campus school visits, and observations of other classes/teachers at Berwick.
  • What are the costs of the program?

    Costs vary slightly depending on whether courses are taken on campus at Lesley or online. Total tuition can range between $13,000 and $19,000.
  • Is financial aid available for this program?

    Yes. All students in graduate programs at Lesley, including students in collaborative programs, are eligible for financial aid from Lesley. Berwick Academy does not offer aid or scholarships for this program at this time.
  • What are some ways to defray costs of the program?

    At this time, there is potential for on-campus housing for the 2022-2023 Teaching Apprentices. Space is limited, so this would be offered on a first come, first served basis. Options would be to live rent-free in exchange for minimal support with dorm duty at our small dorm, or to pay a minimal rent to cover basic expenses of the house. Apprentices also often serve as coaches for our athletic program, and there are stipends given for this work that vary depending on the sport and time commitment it requires.
  • Who do I send my application materials to? What is the process like?

    If you are interested in the program or would like more information, contact the Program Director, Ali Vandenburgh, at avandenburgh@berwickacademy.org. For more details about the application process, including application requirements and deadlines, click on the "application process" download on the Teaching Apprentice Program website.

Inquire for More Information


As a Teaching Apprentice at Berwick, I had the support and encouragement from my mentor teachers to take risks in the classroom that gave me the resources and the confidence to succeed. I also learned what it really means to be a member of a school community. In the classroom, on the fields, and in the dorm, I was able to get to know the students and the school in a way that solidified my love for teaching and bolstered my ability to make meaningful relationships across campus. 
Sarah H.
For me, the Berwick Academy Teaching Apprentice Program was made by the school’s superlative faculty. Not only were my mentor teachers eager and well prepared to help me develop my own practice, but the rest of the faculty also was equally willing to discuss plans, offer ideas, and invite me into their own classes. 
-Sam S.

The Berwick Academy Teaching Apprentice Program is an excellent way to gain hands-on experience in the classroom. The program allowed me to quickly build my skills as an educator under an experienced mentor and in a supportive community. Thanks to this one year program, I have earned my masters degree, feel confident leading my own classroom, and am now working at a top-class school where I intend to stay for many years to come.
My year in the Teaching Apprentice Program at Berwick Academy through Lesley University provided me an in-depth understanding of diverse theoretical perspectives on education, as well as the practical skills to apply that knowledge in the classroom. While my first year of teaching is wildly challenging, I love my job and know I am much more confident in my quality as a teacher than I would have been without this program.
–Jeannie W.

From the coursework at Lesley University to the amazing community at Berwick Academy, I would absolutely not be the teacher I am today without the Teaching Apprentice Program. During this program, I gained invaluable perspective as I was able to look through the lens of both a student and teacher, which continues to inform my practice as a teacher to this day. Every day I looked forward to getting into the classroom where I had the opportunity to collaborate with amazing mentors who consistently pushed me to take risks, be vulnerable, and instilled a mantra of personal growth for my students and for myself.

Berwick Academy

Berwick Academy, situated on an 80-acre campus just over one hour north of Boston, serves 550 students, Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12 and Post-Graduates. Berwick students are from Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and several countries. Deeply committed to its mission of promoting virtue and useful knowledge, Berwick Academy empowers students to be creative and bold. Berwick strives to graduate alumni who shape their own learning, take risks, ask thoughtful questions, and come to understand and celebrate their authentic selves.