College of Education Pilots Teacher Preparation Program

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

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 College of Education at Texas Tech University offers a full range of programs, including 9 doctoral degrees, 10 master's degrees, two bachelor's degrees and numerous specializations which can lead to careers in public or private education as teachers, professors, administrators, counselors and diagnosticians.

Programs in the college are housed in three departments.

The Department of Curriculum & Instruction offers advanced degrees that prepare leaders, researchers, and professors with the knowledge, skills, and practical application experience needed to analyze, construct, and evaluate curricula in ways that create optimal learning conditions for all learners. Language and literacy, bilingual education and STEM education are just a few of the specializations offered by C&I.

The Department of Educational Psychology & Leadership consists of a diverse group of academic programs that equip students with a comprehensive knowledge of learning, motivation, development, and educational foundations. The disciplines of counseling and school psychology are housed within the EP&L department as are programs to prepare future college administrators, primary and secondary school and district leaders, as well as practical and academic educational psychologists.

The Department of Teacher Education focuses solely on teacher preparation, ensuring that teacher candidates are ready for the classroom on day one. The Teacher Education Department is home to TechTeach, an innovative teacher preparation program that puts teacher candidates into public school classrooms for a full year and requires that students pass teacher certification tests prior to entering the classroom. Various paths to teaching careers, including fast-track distance programs statewide and alternative certification options, are also housed in this department.

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