EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Thanks to a $108,000 grant from the Charles Butt Foundation, ten graduate students from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) Teacher Preparation Program have each received $10 scholarships. $000.
College officials say the funds will help pay for their education and teacher certification.
UTEP has nominated students for the Charles Butt Scholarship for Future Teachers who have been accepted into the accelerated Master of Education with Teacher Certification program, which includes a one-year residency in partnership with County School Districts. ‘El Paso.
According to officials, applicants went through two rigorous application processes – one at UTEP and the other through the Charles Butt Foundation (CBF)formerly the Raise Your Hand Texas Education Foundation.
Erika Mein, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies and Educator Preparation at the College of Education, is Principal Investigator of CBF’s Raising Texas Teachers partner program at UTEP.
She said she was delighted that the CBF selected 10 UTEP students to be part of the program’s initial cohort. She described the students as engaged, professional and enthusiastic.
“The larger goal is to really elevate the teaching profession; to draw attention to the incredible work teachers do day in and day out to make a difference in children’s lives,” said Mein, whose co-principal investigator is Clifton Tanabe, Ph.D., dean of the College of Education.
“We are working to develop the next generation of teachers and to be able to support them financially is just fantastic,” Mein said.
The college official shares that the money each member of the cohort has received goes towards courses and residential learning. They add that it also funds professional development opportunities, access to mentors and a statewide network of other aspiring educators.
Two of the 10 members of the UTEP cohort – Robin Leos and Xavier Felix – work at El Dorado High School in Socorro ISD, Far East in El Paso.
Both plan to complete their Master of Arts in Education degree and teacher certification in the summer of 2022. They commended UTEP staff members for their help and support throughout the application process. and maintenance.
Leos earned her bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from New Mexico State University in 2017. She worked as a tutor at Canutillo High School, before a Texas-based civil engineering company hired her. While she loved this job, she said she missed interacting with students in a classroom setting.
After UTEP accepted her into its graduate program, she began the application process for the Charles Butt Scholarship, which included essays, a recorded lesson, group activities, and an individual interview led by a panel of representatives from the Raise Your Hand Texas Education Foundation.
Leos said the Charles Butt scholarship gave him the financial stability to transition into his new career. She appreciates the on-site mentors and looks forward to attending the program’s annual conferences.
Felix, a native of El Paso, graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater Performance from UTEP in 2021. He said the Charles Butt Fellowship application process was “demanding,” but it forced him to focus his energies on becoming a theater arts teacher.
“Without the financial aid, I would not have been able to dedicate the time necessary for my students to accomplish the growth I have seen,” Felix said.
Christina Dunigan, director of the CBF scholarship program, commended Mein and other College of Education leaders for their dedication to providing a high-quality teacher preparation program.
Dunigan said the UTEP Minor Teacher Residency has enthused her colleagues at the foundation because of how it gives teacher candidates a full academic year to hone their craft with the support of carefully selected teacher mentors.
“UTEP plays a huge role in developing new teachers for the communities of El Paso and West Texas, and we appreciate UTEP’s commitment to training a majority cohort of Latinx teacher candidates to serve their community,” Dunigan said.
The college’s collaboration with the CBF began in 2019 after the foundation awarded a grant to support the transformation of the college’s teacher preparation program. UTEP has become a partner university of Raising Texas Teachers.
Dunigan said she hopes Charles Butt Scholars take advantage of every opportunity available to them to advance their careers and become leaders in their field.
Officials share that CBF committee members based their selection on factors such as the person’s skills, values, and communication abilities, as well as their knowledge and strong commitment to teaching in a Texas public school where the majority of students are economically disadvantaged, or to teach a subject in high demand such as math, science, bilingual education or special education.
College leaders are actively recruiting the next cohort of student teachers for the 2022-23 Charles Butt Scholarships. The college is looking for people who already have a bachelor’s degree and want to become teachers.
Mein said the scholarships will pay most of their tuition and fees.
The priority deadline to apply for the Masters program is March 1, 2022. Those accepted can apply for the Charles Butt Fellowship, which has a deadline of April 15, 2022.