Monday, the Council on Regional Economic Expansion and Educational Development (CREEED) awarded $150,000 in scholarship funds to 75 teachers in the Socorro Independent School District through its Accelerated Certification of Teachers (ACT El Paso) Scholarship Program.
The funding will help educators attain dual-credit certifications, dramatically expanding the number of Socorro ISD high school teachers to teach dual-credit courses.
Dual-credit courses give high school students the opportunity to take college-level coursework and to earn college credit while still in high school. Research shows that students who successfully complete 16 hours of dual credit courses are four times more likely to complete a college credential or degree program on time.
CREEED launched the ACT El Paso program in 2015 as part of its effort to improve college readiness and post-secondary attainment for all students in El Paso County.
“CREEED is delighted to be making this long-term investment in our public schools,” said Richard A. Castro, Chairman of CREEED. “This scholarship program strengthens Socorro’s faculty, enriches its educational offerings, and helps prepare more of its students for the rigors of college.”
Dr. Jose Espinoza, Superintendent of Socorro ISD, said that the scholarships would strengthen the district’s curriculum and provide its teachers with additional training and professional development opportunities.
“We are honored to receive the ACT El Paso Scholarships to support more SISD teachers in their professional growth by earning dual credit teaching credentials,” added Dr. Espinoza. “The scholarships will enable Team SISD to continue its laser-sharp focus on college and career readiness by strengthening our highly qualified and effective teaching force and expanding opportunities for our students to take dual credit courses in high school.”
ACT El Paso is part of CREEED’s larger strategic focus of increasing educational attainment, improving educator effectiveness, and engaging parents and community organizations in El Paso’s education system.
“Our commitment to El Paso’s students, and families, has always been about increasing their ability to excel in higher education and our economy,” said Eddie Rodriguez, Executive Director of CREEED. “Dual credit courses prepare more of our students for college, and help ensure that our region has a strong and competitive workforce to power our economy.” .
“The ability to go through the credentialing process and take graduate courses has fundamentally changed the way I approach all my classes,” said fine arts teacher Candace Printz. “I want all my students to have the ability to think critically, and be exposed to the same level of rigor and education. Thanks to CREEED’s commitment, I was able to find my calling again and bring a new passion to my teaching.”
To find out more about CREEED’s ACT El Paso scholarship fund, please click here