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Literacy & Humanities


Teacher Immersion Program

Christopher Stalker
Christopher Stalker
p: (315) 431-8412

The Teacher Immersion Program (TIP) is a partnership between OCM BOCES and local colleges and universities, to place aspiring educators in need of authentic experience into districts in need of quality substitute teachers across the region. It is supervised by Mr. Christopher Stalker, Supervisor of Special Programs. 

Since 2019, OCM BOCES and SUNY Cortland have partnered to place dozens of students into eight districts across Cortland County. Students are assigned to serve the same districts as regular weekly sub on the days when they do not have classes. Districts ensure substitute teaching positions each week. OCM BOCES coordinates advertising, screening, reference checks, hiring, and facilitation of the program.

In 2021, OCM BOCES added LeMoyne College to its list of partners, as well as four new districts in Onondaga and Madison counties. 

In addition to authentic, paid K-12 teaching opportunities, Teacher Immersion Fellows also receive ongoing professional development from OCM BOCES trainers, mentorship, and support. Fellows can also access the OCM BOCES Professional catalog to partake in additional professional development offerings at no cost.

Districts pay a base fee to participate and substitute teacher compensation is aidable.


Teacher Immersion Fellow Testimonials (via anonymous survey)

The Teacher Immersion Program has truly been one of my best experiences at Cortland so far. Stepping foot into a classroom and working with students provides you with knowledge that professors couldn't possibly lecture on. Working in local school districts, networking, and attending professional development workshops has been extremely rewarding. I look forward to using everything I have learned during this semester of the Teacher Immersion Program and implementing it in my future classroom.

I have learned so much about myself as an educator through this experience and I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the students and faculty members.

The Teacher Immersion Program has put me in dozens of classrooms this semester, at a time when seeing as many different classes as possible is the best possible thing I can do to learn to be a better teacher. I've learned more about how the education system really operates through this program than through coursework. Getting paid for excellent experience with an established support structure is something I would recommend to any Cortland student with a serious interest in teaching.

I wish I could give the program a 10 out of 5! It was a great chance to get to interact with schools and students. It helped me come to the conclusion that I want to be a teacher for 30 plus years. It is a great opportunity for employment as well. I always know where I will be each day. It is the perfect program for any aspiring teacher at SUNY Cortland!

This experience has been very helpful to me in a variety of ways. No class that I have ever taken could have prepared me for teaching the way this experience has. I’m so happy that I was able to partake in this experience and I know that I became a better student at Cortland because of the experiences I reflected upon as a teacher in the classroom. If anyone is thinking about teaching in any subject area, this experience through OCM BOCES is something I strongly recommend.

For more information, please contact Chris Stalker at