KINGSVILLE (March 8, 2012) – A new grant is underway at Texas A&M University-Kingsville’s College of Education and Human Performance that will focus on training and placing quality teachers into high-needs districts throughout south Texas. The TEACH Project, which is a collaboration between Texas A&M-Kingsville and University of Louisiana-Monroe, is a $3.8 million, five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education as part of the overall Transition to Teaching Program.
The TEACH (Teachers Earning Alternative Certification Here) Project focuses on recruiting recent college graduates and mid-career professionals from industries outside of education and helping them gain the alternative certification needed to become teachers. The program works in conjunction with the university’s existing alternative certification program but specifically prepares students in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), special education and English as a second language (ESL) and places them in jobs in high-needs areas, including 14 in south Texas. The partner schools districts are Agua Dulce, Banquete, Beeville, Benavides, Corpus Christi, Donna, Freer, La Feria, La Joya, Mission, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo, San Benito, Sinton and West Oso. Students who commit to teaching three years in these districts in one of the above mentioned subject areas will receive a $3,000 stipend and an iPad.
The Project Director and Principal Investigator is Dr. Glenda Holland, chair and professor of the Department of Educational Leadership and Counseling at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, who works on the grant part-time in addition to her other responsibilities. Recently joining the project as full-time staff are Anissa Ybarra, who serves as Project Liaison, and Karen Kelly, the Project Recruiter, both of whom previously worked in other capacities at the university. The TEACH Project staff also work in partnership with Lydia Landin-Ortiz, the university’s Alternative Certification Program Coordinator.
“The TEACH Project is a great opportunity for all stakeholders. School systems benefit from teachers who will be STEM knowledgeable and ESL prepared,” Holland said. “The teachers benefit by completing a university-based program, receiving technology and being supervised and supported by university faculty, and the university benefits from the collaborative partnerships with school districts and another university. The TEACH Project is win-win for all.”
The TEACH Project will admit 25 students per year for each of the five years into the university’s alternative certification program. Interested applicants are required to hold a bachelor’s degree by the time they start the program with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.6 and must first apply to the Texas A&M University-Kingsville College of Graduate Studies at www.applytexas.org. Next, an application must be submitted to the university’s Alternative Certification Program at www.education.tamuk.edu/edu/OSS/acp.htm or in Rhode Hall, Room 117 on the Texas A&M University-Kingsville campus. Finally, students must either come into the program with 24 hours of undergraduate coursework in their content area or pass the Pre-Admission Content Test.
An information session will be held on Thursday, March 22, to provide details about the program, including curriculum, admission and financial aid information, and give prospective students the opportunity to ask questions and meet with TEACH Project staff members. The meeting will start at 6 p.m. in Rhode Hall, Room 107 on the Texas A&M University-Kingsville campus. Anyone interested in additional information regarding the TEACH Project at Texas A&M University-Kingsville can contact Karen Kelly at (361) 593-3037 or [email protected]. Additionally, the program can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TeachTAMUK or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TEACH_TAMUK.