Teaching Profession

Border Teachers Trained For High-Need Subjects

By Vaishali Honawar — April 10, 2007 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Schools in El Paso, Texas, near the border with Mexico, serve many Hispanic students who enter school not speaking a word of English. Almost a quarter of El Paso’s population is foreign-born, and more than half the residents speak Spanish as their language of preference.

Since last year, the education school at the University of Texas at El Paso, with a three-year, $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, has been attempting to address the special needs of El Paso schools through a project that builds partnerships with community organizations, public schools, and other colleges within the university to recruit, prepare, and retain new teachers in the high-need areas of bilingual education, special education, math, and science. Most are bilingual.

Called STEP UP—short for Strategic Teacher Education Programs to Uplift the Profession—the project aggressively targets recruits from the local community college, including those in the teaching program and undeclared majors who are completing core coursework. Individuals from high-need communities and high school students in education magnet programs at local schools are also targeted.

It has enrolled 150 students since it began, and only nine have dropped out so far, said Claudia Gutierrez, the advising coordinator for STEP UP.

Those accepted receive grants of $1,000 to $10,500 for tuition, fees, and books. Students receive early advising and career guidance and attend a summer leadership academy, among other assistance. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or legal residents, have a minimum grade point average of 3.0, and submit an essay stating why they want to be part of the program.

After graduation, beginning teachers receive support from the project for three years, such as workshops and seminars to develop classroom skills.

The project has been so well received, Ms. Gutierrez said, that in the first year, the university received 300 applications for 20 open spots. It has continued to draw as many as 150 applicants each semester.

A version of this article appeared in the April 11, 2007 edition of Education Week


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Curriculum Webinar
Strategies for Incorporating SEL into Curriculum
Empower students to thrive. Learn how to integrate powerful social-emotional learning (SEL) strategies into the classroom.
Content provided by Be GLAD
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
School & District Management Webinar
Leadership in Education: Building Collaborative Teams and Driving Innovation
Learn strategies to build strong teams, foster innovation, & drive student success.
Content provided by Follett Learning
School & District Management K-12 Essentials Forum Principals, Lead Stronger in the New School Year
Join this free virtual event for a deep dive on the skills and motivation you need to put your best foot forward in the new year.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Teaching Profession The NEA Faces an Unexpected Labor Adversary—Its Own Staff Union
Staff for the nation’s largest teachers’ union picketed at its Washington headquarters Thursday, striking for the first time in decades.
3 min read
Staff of the National Education Association, the nation’s largest teachers union, strike outside the organization's building in Washington on June 20, 2024. The staff union alleges that the NEA violated labor law.
Staff from the National Education Association, the nation’s largest teachers union, protest outside the organization's building in Washington, D.C., on June 20, 2024.
Stephen Sawchuk/Education Week
Teaching Profession Teachers Report Lower Pay, More Stress Than Workers in Other Fields
It's yet another warning sign for the beleaguered profession.
4 min read
Teacher working on scheduling at desk.
Teaching Profession Teachers Are Pushing for Paid Parental Leave. How It's Going
Efforts to implement paid parental leave policies are slowly gaining traction, with teachers often advocating on their own behalf.
7 min read
Image of a pregnant person at work.