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Socorro ISD offers Unique Opportunities for Professional Growth

The Socorro Independent School District continues to increase the capacity of its educators by providing unique programs to assist their professional growth.

The district focuses on growing strong educational leaders from within Team SISD and is proud to offer a new program for doctoral or master’s degrees and continue with its dual credit scholarship opportunity.

SISD, in partnership with UTEP, is offering district administrators and faculty members a unique program beginning in the spring 2017, which allows a cohort of SISD employees the opportunity to obtain a doctoral degree in the field of educational administration, or a master’s degree with an administrative license in principal certification.

“We are proud to offer opportunities to develop our teachers and administrators, and prepare them for future leadership roles within Team SISD,” said Alisa Zapata Farmer, SISD chief academic officer. “Investing in a highly qualified, effective faculty and staff is a top priority so that they can provide all students with endless opportunities.”

UTEP will work with the district’s year-round schedule to make the course schedule flexible and adaptable for district employees. Instruction will be provided through a hybrid method using face-to-face and online instruction. Classes will be conducted at SISD facilities and online.

The master’s degree program in educational administration will focus on K-12 administration, which can lead to a principal certification. Candidates in the advanced study programs also will be able to apply research to replicate effective outcomes and improve public and postsecondary education in the border community.

To give more students the opportunity to take dual credit courses, the district is expanding its dual credit program through scholarships that allow secondary educators to obtain their dual credit teaching credentials.

Since the program’s inception in 2013, some 70 teachers in the district have taken graduate courses at the University of Texas at El Paso and have earned their credentials through El Paso Community College to teach dual credit courses. The dual credit scholarship covers tuition, a parking permit, and initial registration fee. Scholarship recipients will be able to start taking graduate courses in the 2017 spring academic session.

Upon earning their certification, scholarship recipients can teach early college high school classes, advanced academics, and other courses that offer dual credit opportunities.

This year, more than 11,500 students in Team SISD are scheduled to take the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) exam for free this year, a test that must be taken in order to take college courses while in high school.

To apply for the Dual Credit Scholarship Program, teachers must submit three letters of recommendation, including one from a current campus administrator, and a resume, to George Thomas, SISD’s director of career and technical education, by email at gthoma@sisd.net. Application and document submission deadline is Oct. 31.

Informational meetings to learn more about this opportunity will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Oct. 18, 19, 20 and 25 at the District Service Center, 12440 Rojas Dr.

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