The University-School Partnerships for the Renewal of Educator Preparation (US PREP) announced, that it approved a three-year, $300,000 grant for The University of Texas at El Paso’s College of Education to enhance its teacher preparation program.
US PREP is a national organization that helps transform teacher preparation programs at the local level by setting up collaborations with institutions of higher education and partner school districts. In UTEP’s case, it will work with the El Paso Independent School District.
US PREP has created a network of institutions that share best practices in the teacher preparation field. Along with the collaborations, its goals are to improve the clinical experiences of teacher candidates and to prepare classroom-ready teachers who will be equipped to address their students’ academic and social/emotional needs.
Clifton Tanabe, Ph.D., dean of the College of Education, was enthusiastic about being part of the US PREP network. He said that members of a US PREP selection team were interested in how their organization could enhance the college’s efforts to serve as a national leader in preparing educators who can successfully engage with students and their families who are bilingual and bicultural.
The college has requested technical assistance for its teacher preparation program to better align with the Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System, as well as aspects of professional development, conceptual support for year-long clinical experiences, and valid survey instruments that can be administered to graduating students, new teachers and administrators.
Among the college’s goals are to build the supply of Latino/a teacher candidates who can meet the needs of underserved and low-income students, especially those who are English language learners.
“We’re excited about this opportunity,” Tanabe said. “This will elevate and accelerate our commitment to transform the preparation of our teacher candidates to meet the needs of the schools in our region.”
US PREP has an established cohort of eight institutions throughout the country. UTEP will be part of a second cohort that includes members from coast to coast.
A group of College of Education faculty led by Tanabe is attending a two-day workshop in San Antonio, Texas, to learn more about the organization and its methods.
The announcement was first made on Nov. 29, 2018