CREEED Dual-Credit Scholarship Program supports certification of 215 El Paso Teachers

The Council on Regional Economic Expansion and Educational Development (CREEED) announced on Thursday that their organization has awarded $430,000 in scholarships to 215 local high school teachers this summer through its Accelerated Certification of Teachers (ACT El Paso) Scholarship Program.

The funding will help educators complete the credentialing process, expanding the number of high school teachers certified to teach dual-credit courses by over 250 percent.

“CREEED is committed to improving postsecondary attainment for all students in El Paso by investing in programs and policies that increase the college readiness of our students and ensure they are able to pursue and complete a postsecondary degree in a timely manner,” said Richard A. Castro, Chairman of CREEED. “By investing in dual credit and the professional development of our local teachers, this scholarship program helps gives more students a head start towards a degree and prepares them for the rigors of college.”

Through the ACT El Paso scholarship, the following El Paso school districts will see more teachers receiving funding to become certified dual-credit instructors

      5 teachers at Canutillo Independent School District
      11 teachers at Clint Independent School District
      50 teachers at El Paso Independent School District
      75 teachers at Socorro Independent School District
      60 teachers at Ysleta Independent School District
In addition, the ACT El Paso scholarship program has expanded to include teachers at the following school districts for the first time:
      10 teachers at Fabens Independent School District
      1 teacher at Tornillo Independent School District
      3 teachers at Anthony Independent School District
The scholarship funds will be used by teachers to help pay for their credentialing process, which requires them to complete 18 graduate semester credit hours in their instructional area and successfully obtain a master’s degree.
Currently, only 70 percent of students who enter The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and 34 percent who enter El Paso Community College (EPCC) are fully prepared for college-level work. Most of these students are graduates of local high schools.

CREEED aims to place teachers certified to offer dual credit courses in every high school in El Paso County. ACT El Paso is part of the non-profit group’s larger plan to improve educational parity, enhance the quality of instruction, and see more students complete post-high-school degree or certificate programs throughout the El Paso region.

Additional comments from educational leaders in El Paso County regarding the ACT El Paso scholarship program can be found here.

Dual-credit courses give high school students the opportunity to take college-level coursework and earn college credit while still in high school. Research shows that students who successfully complete 18 hours of dual credit courses are four times more likely to complete a college credential or degree program on time.

Since 2015, CREEED has awarded $709,000 out of a total of $1 million for the scholarship program, which aims to increase higher education enrollment and completion among El Paso students.