University Partnership Gives Aspiring Richardson Teachers an Edge
Sam Weiger, geospatial information sciences senior, talks to Richardson High School students about life as a Comet. UT Dallas’ Teacher Development Center has partnered with the Richardson Independent School District and the Dallas County Community College District on a program to train RISD students to become future teachers in the district.
A new University of Texas at Dallas partnership creates a path for Richardson Independent School District (RISD) students to become teachers in the district after they finish college.
The Teacher Development Center in UT Dallas’ School of Interdisciplinary Studies created the program with RISD and the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD). Graduates will receive priority for teaching jobs in the highly competitive district.
“We’re excited to work with Richardson schools and the Dallas County Community College District to offer this avenue for Richardson students to become Richardson teachers,” said Laurie Pollock, assistant director, advising and recruiting in the Teacher Development Center. “This program paves an excellent and affordable route for students to progress from high school to a career in a top school district where they can make a difference in students’ lives.”
Students can earn teaching certificates as part of a four-year college plan.
““This program paves an excellent and affordable route for students to progress from high school to a career in a top school district where they can make a difference in students’ lives.”
“We are confident that this new partnership with the Richardson Independent School District and Dallas County Community College District will encourage more RISD students to pursue careers in education,” said Dr. George Fair, vice president for diversity and community engagement and dean of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies. “We are proud to be part of this program to train talented, effective teachers who want to give back to the district.”
The program enhances RISD’s Grow Your Own teaching program in the district’s Career Technical Education (CTE) curriculum that introduces students to the profession. The district enrolls about 115 students in the program, said Sandra Moore, RISD’s executive director of recruiting, mentorship and retention.
“Our goal is to proactively encourage high school students in the program to become acquainted with the many services available to UT Dallas students and customize a progression model that will show students — and their parents — that UT Dallas is a great choice,” Moore said.
Once they graduate from UT Dallas and earn their teacher certification, the students will be eligible for an open contract of employment with RISD, she said.
Students are encouraged to enroll in the Dallas County Community College District as part of the program.
“This unique program will provide students who are interested in the teaching profession with tremendous insights into the educational career field while still attending high school,” said Donna Walker, associate vice president of enrollment management at Richland College in the DCCCD. “It’s a great opportunity for high school students to get a head start on their four-year degree.”
Richland College and RISD are working to develop dual-credit courses that would allow students in the program to earn college credit during high school.
Students with 42 hours of college credits and a GPA of at least 3.0 can automatically transfer to UT Dallas, where they can complete their degree, certification and have the opportunity to complete their field experience and student teaching in the RISD.
“Many of RISD’s top teachers attended RISD schools as students and have returned to the district to serve the community,” Moore said. “We value Grow Your Own in partnership with UT Dallas and offering this path for our talented students to become talented educators.”
Richardson High School students in the teaching internship program visited campus to learn about UT Dallas and the admissions process.
“It’s a really helpful program,” said Faiza Zaman, who graduated from Richardson High and enrolled in UT Dallas this fall. She is considering majoring in psychology.
The Teacher Development Center offers education courses, field experience, clinical teaching and preparation for teacher certification exams that can be completed as part of a four-year degree plan.
Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].