TAMIU Receives $1.8 Million for Alternative Certification Teaching Program
A $1.8 million federal grant will help to insure that Texas A&M
International University continues to be the largest source of the region's
future teachers. The grant, to be delivered over five years, will provide
approximately $359,000 annually.
The Department of Education has provided the grant to assist the University's
innovative teacher recruitment and retention projects, including the Alternative
Transition to Teaching Program (AT3P).
In announcing the grant in Washington, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX),
said the grant helps to insure America's leadership role through preparing
"Our nation is facing a shortage of qualified teachers," Sen.
Hutchison said, "America must stay a leader in science and technology
research. This grant will help Texas recruit and retain highly skilled
educators to prepare our children to be the workforce of tomorrow."
Hutchison is a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor,
Health and Human Services and Education.
University president Dr. Ray Keck said the grant will encourage students
to continue or consider teaching careers.
"Through this No Child Left Behind grant, this will provide support
for our Alternate Transition to Teaching Program (AT3P), which recruits
talented mid-career professionals and recent college graduates to teach
in high-need schools through new, alternative certification routes,"
Dr. Keck said.
Sen. Hutchison praised the development of alternate routes and said
the grant will help to streamline hiring as well.
"In addition to developing alternate routes to the classroom, this
year's grantees also will work to streamline hiring timelines and procedures,"
Dr. Humberto R. Gonzalez, TAMIU College of Education dean, explained
the Program's goal is to produce 600 highly qualified certified teachers
to help alleviate the teaching shortage in the Laredo and South Texas
"We started the Alternative Certification Program at TAMIU in February
of this year and it is approved by the State Board of Education,"
said Dr. Gonzalez, "This grant is recognition of the program's necessity
and value to the community. We will be placing more than 120 new teachers
in area school districts such as LISD, UISD, Jim Hogg, Zapata, Freer and
Gonzalez explained the program, now bolstered with government funds,
helps students through a variety of support offerings. He said the grant
recognizes the area's tremendous need for bilingual teachers and will
help TAMIU students meet that need.
"Our program is extremely supportive of students who want to be
teachers and are interested in alternative certification. The funding
will also allow us to offer daycare, provide program cost assistance and
continue to offer an outstanding Program," said Gonzalez.
Support for ACP students includes 22 Field University Teaching Mentors
who participate in a one-day training to be ACP mentors, explained Gonzalez.
"They are fully certified retired teachers and administrators who
will each be responsible for about ten students, observing the novice
teachers, offering recommendations, visiting and conferring, helping the
Program participants plan and providing feedback," he said.
Gonzalez said the grant was made possible through a collaborative effort
at the University, including Dr. Ramon Alaniz, Heather Corti, Dr. Cathy
Guerra, Christina Hernandez, Dr. Juan R. Lira, Crissy Maciel, Diana Rodriguez
and Dr. Miroslava Vargas.
For more information about alternative certification and TAMIU's AT3P,
please contact Dr. Gonzalez at 326.2420, visit offices in the Sue and
Radcliffe Killam Library, room 329 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
University office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
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