Texas Tech University

Expert Available to Speak on Teacher Recruitment, Retention

Amanda Castro-Crist

September 18, 2018

Doug Hamman, administrator of Texas Tech University’s Grow Your Own program, is working to increase the quality and diversity of the Texas teaching force, especially for small and rural districts.

In a story today by the Texas Tribune, educators in the West Texas school district of Ector County said they are considering funding “virtual teachers” to fill 240 vacant teaching positions. Administrators said this may solve the problem of recruiting and retaining enough teachers in expensive or rural parts of the state.

Doug Hamman
Doug Hamman

Through partnerships with school districts across the state, Texas Tech University has offered an additional solution: a Grow Your Own program. For individuals who have an associate degree and are committed to teaching in their home district, the program offers mentoring and a path to teacher certification in just one year.

Doug Hamman, department chairman of teacher education in the College of Education and administrator of the Grow Your Own program, is available to speak about the program and the impact it will have on districts that struggle to staff teaching positions.


Doug Hamman, department chairman of teacher education,(806) 834-4113 or doug.hamman@ttu.edu

Talking Points

  • School districts in Texas continue to face significant teacher shortages, with rural districts that are disproportionally affected facing the biggest struggles in the recruitment and retention of qualified educators.
  • Texas Tech's Grow Your Own grant program aims to increase the quality and diversity of the teaching force, especially for small and/or rural districts, by encouraging students to teach in their home districts and providing support while they complete teacher certification.


  • “Rural districts often grapple with the very same teacher staffing issues that large, urban districts struggle with, but they often have fewer resources to draw from.  A ‘grow your own' program identifies community members who want to be teachers and prepares them in their community, specifically for their community.  That's a recipe for long-term retention of teacher talent.”
  • “Our Grow Your Own program, carried out in partnership with 14 school districts across Texas, is one way Texas Tech is helping ensure all kids have access to a well-prepared, effective teacher.”