The grants, awarded by the Texas Education Agency, focus on increasing the quality and diversity of teachers, especially for small and/or rural districts.
The Texas Tech University College of Education has been selected as a recipient of a $411,000 grant from the Texas Education Agency under the 2018-19 “Grow Your Own” grant program.
Texas Tech was among 25 school districts, universities and education service centers throughout the state to receive these grants, which are used to encourage high school students to consider teaching as a career or to pursue certification as paraprofessionals and teacher aides. The funds also support student teachers during their year-long clinical teaching.
The grant program aims to increase the quality and diversity of the teaching force, especially for small and/or rural districts. Among other things, the funds Texas Tech receives will support the implementation of teacher preparation courses for high school students in local rural school districts, focus on developing well-qualified teacher candidates through a year-long clinical teaching assignment and provide $15,000 stipends each for 18 teacher candidates.
This is the first time the College of Education has received grants from this program. Texas Tech was one of just three institutions of higher education in the state selected for the grant.
Doug Hamman, department chairman of teacher education, will serve as administrator of the grants, which will be distributed beginning in July.
“Approximately 20 percent of the 5.5 million children in Texas attend school in rural districts, and most of these districts face staffing challenges that exceed even the hardest-to-staff urban schools, creating equity and access issues and perpetuating the cycle of staffing shortages and diminished student achievement,” Hamman said. “Historically, universities have been unresponsive to this rural plight, but Texas Tech University, along with five rural districts – Floydada, Crosbyton, Roosevelt, Slaton and Tahoka – has taken a different approach that will improve the flow of high-quality teachers to rural school districts.”