College of Education Expands Bilingual/ESL Certification Opportunities

New partnership between Dallas-area school districts, the Dallas County Community College District and Texas Tech University prepares bilingual/ESL teachers through distance education.

College of Education

The College of Education will offer distance courses to students in the Dallas area in order to make the ESL teacher certification accessible to more people.

Texas Tech University’s College of Education is partnering with the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) and Dallas-area school districts to make much-needed bilingual/English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) teacher certification accessible to more people.

Texas Tech will offer its existing Bachelor of Science in Multidisciplinary Studies (leading to EC-6 teacher certification in bilingual education and ESL) to students completing core requirements at community colleges in the Dallas area, including Mountain View College and Richland College.

The program partners also will work with Dallas-area paraprofessionals to complete core requirements before admission to the College of Education. Online instruction will begin in fall 2009.

Specifically, courses leading to initial certification as a bilingual/ESL teacher will be delivered through web-based instruction. Fewer than half of the 129 credits required for the degree will be offered by Texas Tech. Most, if not all, of the Texas Tech courses will be delivered online. Community college partners will deliver the first two years of coursework.

The non-traditional approach to preparing teachers through distance education provides pathways to baccalaureate degrees in high demand fields for students, said Dora Salazar, project director in the College of Education.

“Eligible school district support staff will have an opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree while remaining in their current position. The program enables the school districts in the region to grow their own new teachers to help meet staffing needs in bilingual/ESL, while at the same time rewarding dedicated paraprofessionals, by encouraging professional growth,” Salazar said.

The partnerships are made possible through a Title III National Professional Development (Project TEACH) grant received from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of English Language Acquisition.

Project TEACH (Teacher Education Alliance Collaborative for Higher Education) addresses a national need to improve education through the preparation and ongoing training of all teachers serving English Language Learners (ELLs) in the state of Texas. The Project is designed to increase the pool of highly qualified teachers and is designed to provide support for pre-service teachers, improve their teaching skills to work towards certification, and assist educational personnel with ELLs to meet high professional standards.

For additional information visit http://www.educ.ttu.edu/projectteach/CONTACT: Dora Salazar, project director, College of Education, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-1998 ext. 480, or dora.salazar@ttu.edu; or Martha Harrison, unit coordinator, (806) 742-1998 ext. 462, or Martha.harrison@ttu.edu. Mountain View College: Karen Blue, director, Teacher Preparation Program, (214) 860-8632or Kblue@dcccd.edu. At Richland College: Adriana Rodriguez, director, bilingual/ESL Teacher Preparation, (972) 761-6821, or adrianarodriguez@dcccd.edu.

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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