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College of Education Pilots Teacher Preparation Program

The new TechTeach includes a teaching practicum with evaluation based on explicit teaching competencies.

Written by Lori Cortez

TechTeach, which started in Fall 2011, allows teacher candidates to make contributions to students’ learning.

Texas Tech’s College of Education unveiled this fall semester a new teacher preparation program called TechTeach. The program launched with middle-level teacher candidates, but starting in spring 2012, elementary and secondary teaching focuses also will be phased into the program, requiring all teacher candidates to take part in the new curricula. 

TechTeach emulates iTeachAZ, Arizona State’s preparation program, which was implemented by Scott Ridley, the Texas Tech College of Education’s new dean. The program will not add any additional cost or length of time to the current four-year undergraduate teaching track.

The new process also includes co-teaching, which makes the certified teacher a mentor for the TechTeach candidates who will be in their class. Doug Hamman, director of teacher education at Texas Tech, said classrooms where teachers co-teach with a teacher candidate outperform classrooms where there is a traditional student-teaching experience.

“In the classroom, both adults can work together and use achievement data from their children to figure out the best way to split up the class or work together and complement each other,” he said. “If a mentor teacher has a small number of children who are having trouble, the teacher candidate can take over that group for exclusive help.”

TechTeach has made two promises to its partner districts:

  • Within two years of graduating, TechTeach candidates will have value-added scores that are above district average, meaning they will exceed scores of half the teachers in the district.
  • With the year-long co-teaching experience, the teacher candidates will contribute to gains in students’ learning that exceed what the mentor teacher alone could bring about.

All TechTeach candidates will be evaluated based on their teaching competency, focusing more on their skills and ability to exhibit behaviors aligned with the national Teacher Advancement Program standards.

“The teacher candidates must teach at one of our approved sites because, essentially, the College of Education is taking responsibility, saying we will make sure our participants are much more prepared for their first day of teaching in their own classrooms,” Hamman said.

The college expects the program to be implemented and fully working at all certification levels by fall 2013.

“This program is aimed at improving learning of K-12 students, and preparing our teacher candidates to do just that,” Hamman said. 

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College of Education
The Texas Tech College of Education

The College of Education at Texas Tech University offers a full range of programs, including eight doctoral degrees, 12 master's degrees and two bachelor's degrees with numerous specializations leading to careers in public or private education as teachers, professors, administrators, counselors and diagnosticians.

Programs in the college are housed in two departments. The Department of Curriculum and Instruction offers undergraduate programs leading to initial teaching certificates and graduate programs in bilingual education, curriculum and instruction, elementary education, language literacy and secondary education.

The Department of Educational Psychology and Leadership offers graduate programs in counselor education, educational leadership, educational psychology, higher education, instructional technology and special education.

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