Texas joins 15 universities that currently participate in partner educator programs across the state.
“This recognition signals our university’s historic roots as a teacher’s college to our role today in graduating more teachers who are fully prepared for the classroom than any other university in Texas,” said Michael O’Malley, dean of the Texas State College of Education. . “Working with the Charles Butt Foundation has been a transformative partnership for our teacher education program that not only benefits our students, but the children they will be teaching throughout their careers.”
Raising Texas Teachers was launched in 2017 by the foundation, which was started by Charles Pate, chairman and majority stakeholder of HEB, a chain of more than 420 grocery stores across Texas and Mexico. The Foundation’s vision for the initiative is that every student, in every classroom across Texas, has an effective teacher every year.
To be selected as a project partner, the State of Texas successfully participated in a competitive request for bid process to identify the best university-level teacher preparation programs in Texas that could recommend teacher candidates for the Charles Pate Scholarship to aspiring teachers and work collaboratively to address persistent teacher preparation challenges.
Texas State Teacher candidates can apply for the Charles Pate Scholarship, an $8,000 scholarship annually to help cover the cost of attending Texas State for up to four years. Scholarships are criteria driven and there is no limit to the number of qualified Texas students that can be awarded. Criteria include commitment to a teaching career in Texas public education at a Title I school or a critical deficiency area (defined by the institution as math, science, special education, or bilingual education) and completion of the EC-6 ESL Undergraduate Teacher Residency Program.
In addition to financial support, the scholarship provides mentorship, professional development, and participation in a statewide network of promising teacher candidates committed to teaching in the Texas public school system at either an economically disadvantaged majority school (more than 50% of students qualify for free or reduced lunch) or in the subject area of deficiency.
Prior to becoming a partner in Raising Texas Teachers, the State of Texas had worked with the Charles Butt Foundation’s Assessment and Improvement Process since 2018, which led the university to work with US PREP to design and implement innovative year-round teacher residencies designed to improve outcomes for students and student teachers Both. This has been a college-wide effort. Laurie Assaf, Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, is the Partnership Coordinator with Jeff King, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.
“Faculty in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction has spent the past three years working collaboratively to improve our program with the ultimate goal of better preparing teacher candidates who are more culturally and linguistically responsive and serve the needs of all students,” said Assaf. . “We are committed to participating in continuous improvement.”
Students who receive the Charles Pate Scholarship will participate in the Texas State Teacher Residency Program, which provides stability and support for student teachers.
“Residency is different from the standard course of education students take because it provides continuity of being in the same classroom throughout the entire school year,” said O’Malley. “A placement in the same classroom for fieldwork and teaching allows students to immerse themselves deeper in the culture of the classroom community and form stronger, more supportive relationships with collaborating teachers, school leaders, students, and their families.”
Resident teachers receive a welcome stipend to help support living expenses. Teaching classes to students requires that the resident teacher spend five days a week from 7:30 am to 4 pm in their classroom, and this does not include the additional planning and preparation time they spend each day. Most students have to quit their jobs or try to find weekend hours just to complete the students’ education. These salaries currently range from $8,000 to $20,000 annually, and allow residents to focus more on their teacher preparation at their K-12 school.
“The residency program has given me the opportunity to make connections and form relationships with my students, collaborating teachers, and other members of my school community,” said Angie Escalante, 2022-2023 resident at De Zavala Elementary School in San Marcos CISD. “It was a great experience that gave me the confidence needed to start my first year education on a strong note. I feel every pre-service teacher will benefit from this program.”
Students in the residence in Kindergarten through 5th grade classrooms in Lockhart, San Marcos, Hutto, Manor, and Prairie Lea work with ISDs along with the K Charter School while taking their Curriculum and Instruction courses. The state of Texas is partnering with the Austin ISD to add accommodations in that area as well.
Texas piloted its first teacher residency with Lockhart ISD as of 2020, and to date has placed over 75 residency teachers in partner districts. For the fall 2022 semester alone, 59 nominated teachers taught in four district and charter schools, with another 20 students in the spring 2023 semester.
The state of Texas has secured state funding of up to $3 million in stipends over three years for resident teachers. Accommodation stipends plus Charles Pate Scholarships.
Texas State College of Education students can learn more about the Charles Pate Scholarship by sending an email to CBScholars@txstate.edu.
Information provided by Texas State University