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UTEP Grant Expansion Supports Growing Demand for Teachers Interested in Dual Credit Credential

A recent expansion of a grant awarded to The University of Texas at El Paso’s Dual Credit Initiative will increase the number of area teachers who can teach courses that count for high school and college credit by expanding support and accessibility to participating teachers and UTEP faculty.

The Dallas, Texas-based Meadows Foundation awarded an additional $112,500 to the UTEP program that helps high school teachers earn their dual credit credentials by providing scholarships to help cover the cost of tuition, fees, books and expenses of going to graduate school. The program also provides stipends to UTEP faculty members who will offer more graduate courses online, during the evenings, and in the summer to make them accessible to teachers.

The expansion of the grant will help support UTEP faculty, enabling them to offer more classes at more convenient times to accommodate teachers’ schedules, and offer classes at additional locations throughout the region. The additional funding also will provide professional development for dual credit teachers and create an El Paso Dual Credit Teachers Association for additional support.

The previous grant in the amount of $112,500 was designated for teachers in districts throughout Region 19 who were interested in teaching dual-credit courses – those where students earn high school and college credit simultaneously. To earn their credential, teachers must have a master’s degree and 18 graduate semester credit hours in the field they wish to teach.

The first year of the initiative was a tremendous success through utilization of the Meadows grant; along with contributions from the Boeing Company, ADP, El Paso Electric Co., JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and the Council on Regional Economic Expansion and Educational Development (CREEED) in El Paso as well as several area school districts providing tuition and fee support for their teachers to attend graduate courses. The overwhelming demand for dual-credit classes allowed the Dual Credit Initiative to request additional funding from the Meadows Foundation.

The interest in dual credit is backed by research that shows students who earn at least six college credits in high school are twice as likely to enroll in college and finish their degree plan.

“We appreciate the continued support of the Meadows Foundation and are delighted to be able to expand this opportunity that promotes access and success to incoming students,” said Donna Ekal, Ph.D., associate provost for undergraduate studies at UTEP.

Interested teachers are encouraged to contact their school administrators or Ekal atdualcreditinitiative@utep.edu

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