November 2, 2023 — The Albuquerque Teacher Residency Partnership (ATRP) at the University of New Mexico (UNM) has rebranded and renamed their teacher residency program to the District Partner Teacher Residency (DPTR) to represent the growth and solidarity of their partnering school districts. We talked to Marjorie Krebs, Ed.D., who is the director of residencies at DPTR, to learn more about their journey toward rebranding.
1) Why did you decide to change your name and brand identity?
We changed our original teacher residency from the Albuquerque Teacher Residency Partnership (ATRP) to the District Partner Teacher Residency (DPTR) when we expanded from 1 district partner (Albuquerque Public Schools) to our current 11 district and charter school partners. We wanted to show our districts that we put our district partnerships first, with the name “District Partner” Teacher Residency.
This expansion was made possible by the 2022 New Mexico State Legislature passing House Bill 13 providing $35,000 stipends for teacher residents and $2,000 stipends for co-teachers and principals hosting teacher residents. With this additional funding, we were able to expand the residency opportunity to the entire state of New Mexico. In 2023, the state legislature continued this funding in the Budget Bill (House Bill 2). We are currently lobbying our legislature to continue this funding for the 2024-2025 school year.
2) How long has this process been in the works?
Our original ATRP partnership began in 2017 with SEED grant funding from the National Center for Teacher Residencies (NCTR) for a planning year and for our initial residency year (2018-2019). When we expanded to partner with other districts and charter schools around the state in 2022, we knew we needed to rebrand.
Mike Basil, program coordinator with the College of Education and Human Sciences at UNM, and myself worked with our University of New Mexico Marketing Department and explained the ideas behind DPTR: a) importance of partnerships, b) recognizable logo that was self-explanatory with wording included; and c) reflective of New Mexico. Our Marketing Department provided us with 4 different options and color choices.
We then met with our DPTR Advisory Board, made up of 12 district and charter school leaders, a State of New Mexico Public Education Department representative, a funder for DPTR, and UNM faculty. This group reviewed the pros and cons of each option and selected our current DPTR logo. We also obtained University approval to use this as a “stand alone” logo without the “UNM” portion because we selected colors that reflected UNM’s color palette.
3) What steps did you take to launch your rebrand?
This was probably our weakest step. Basically, we just started using it… Because this logo represents ALL our partnerships, it was not “new” for them, it was just their logo. For our original partnership (ATRP), we still use that logo. An additional school district partner, Rio Rancho Public Schools, wanted their own logo, so they created one that we use for our Rio Rancho Teacher Residency Program Partnership.
4) With the new brand, has anything else regarding your program changed?
With our new brand, we are able to represent a true partnership with districts and charter schools across the state. With “District Partner” as the lead wording instead of UNM Teacher Residency, for example, we show that our partnerships are the key to our teacher residency. Because we have our new logo, each district or charter school we add can use the same logo. This is also less confusing for our students who are in our “outlying” districts. They are all united in one teacher residency, the District Partner Teacher Residency.