Rob DeHaas, vice provost, Dallas College School of Education
Contact: Liz Scruggs
For immediate release — Aug. 17, 2023
(DALLAS) — As the fall semester begins, the next cohort of Dallas College teacher-apprentices will head back to the classroom, supported by new funding from the U.S. Department of Education, which recently awarded the Dallas College School of Education (SOE) $3.8 million. The funds will expand SOE’s novel teacher apprenticeship work.
The new funding stems from the $14.5 million Teacher Quality Partnership Grant Competition — a U.S. Department of Education (DOE) initiative intended to improve the quality of prospective and new teachers by enhancing educator preparation programs and support for new teachers. The funding is part of a broader, nearly $100 million investment by the DOE and U.S. Department of Labor to support educator preparation programs and scaling of proven educator workforce models such as teacher residencies and teacher apprenticeships.
“We are grateful for the continued support from the Department of Education,” said SOE Vice Provost Rob DeHaas. “This renewed support opens doors for those who may otherwise face barriers but did not have an affordable pathway to become a teacher. The model allows candidates to earn their teaching credentials through structured, paid on-the-job learning experiences with mentors, combined with coursework, and can be used to bring additional resources to the table to support the expansion of teacher residencies and overcome a growing teacher shortage.”
For the past year, Dallas College SOE has collaborated with local school districts to strengthen the teacher pipeline by modeling a hands-on training program similar to what has been successfully employed in other professions, such as fast-track apprenticeships in health care.
As a recipient in this latest round of grants, Dallas College joins other leaders in the educator training field, such as the University of Iowa and Kansas State University. The new funding is specifically dedicated to improving student achievement and preparing prospective teachers by helping teachers meet applicable state certification and licensure requirements. SOE will also recruit highly qualified individuals, including minorities and employees from other occupations, into the teaching force.
A paid apprenticeship gives trainees real-world experiences with a partner organization while earning a degree or a credential. The Richardson Independent School District (RISD) was the first to join Dallas College in the apprenticeship program, paying the first cohorts $30,000 each for year-long residencies.
Zully Sanchez, a class of 2023 Dallas College graduate, accepted a job offer as a special education teacher with RISD for the 2023-2024 school year after successfully completing the teacher apprentice program.
“My experience as an apprentice helped me feel prepared and understand the various tasks and roles teachers play in the classroom and students’ lives as I ventured into my first year of teaching,” Zully said. “We were able to learn essential skills and build lasting relationships within our community.”
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