ROCY HILL, Conn. (WTNH) — Districts across the state are working to bring more diversity to the classroom.

Joshua Fritho started the Capitol Region Education Council (CREC) Teacher Residency Program in June, which is an alternative to the traditional way of becoming a teacher.

He’s hoping to have his own classroom next year.

Director of the program Marlene Megos said, “We identified a great need for teachers of color within our schools the percentage of teachers of color to the percentage of students of color is greatly divided.”

The program started in June of 2019, and since then, it has expanded to other school districts, such as Ellington, Southington, and Bristol.

Resident teachers, like Fritho, work with a mentor-teacher for a full year.

Megos said, “Once they get in the program, they are in course work for 18 months but after 14 months they are able to obtain certification.”

You may be wondering the difference is between student teaching and this residency program.

Program Coordinator Ushawnda Mitchell said, “One of the great things about this program is we offer a salary and benefits for our residents.”

Streamlining the process to bring diversity to schools across Connecticut.

“I know the importance of how that feels walking into a school and just noticing that you’re the only person that looks like you. Now, imagine how that feels for our students,” Mitchell said.

By next year, they have plans to expand this program to Fairfield County, New Haven, and New London.