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UTA, Arlington school district launch Teacher Academy to increase educator talent pipeline

Monday, March 7, 2016

Media Contact: Kristin Sullivan

News Topics: admissions, education

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The Arlington school district and The University of Texas at Arlington are partnering to create an innovative Teacher Academy to encourage aspiring young educators to pursue careers in teaching and provide them a clear path to success. 

UTA President Vistasp Karbhari and Arlington schools Superintendent Marcelo Cavazos

UTA President Vistasp M. Karbhari and Arlington schools Superintendent Marcelo Cavazos sign an agreement to launch a new Teacher Academy on March 7, 2016.

Arlington schools Superintendent Marcelo Cavazos and UTA President Vistasp M. Karbhari celebrated the initiative Monday with the signing of a memorandum of understanding at Seguin High School. More than 100 high school students who already are participating in the district’s “Ready, Set, Teach” education career program attended the ceremony.

The Teacher Academy will provide high school junior and seniors the opportunity to earn both university semester credit hours and high school course credit, giving students primed for a teaching career an advantage as they become college and workforce ready, University and district officials said.

“UTA has an exceptional College of Education that produces top teachers, many of whom are employed by the AISD,” Karbhari said. “This collaboration will help us continue to produce highly-qualified educators prepared to work with the diverse student populations in our school district and meet the needs of students within our community.”

Prospective teachers in the Arlington school district's "Ready, Set, Teach" program

Participating students will have the opportunity to earn UTA College of Education courses in addition to other available dual-credit courses and will pursue one of four study pathways – bilingual education, English as a second language, early childhood through sixth grade and special education. Students will sign a degree plan with UTA as high school juniors and, through dual credit offerings, will be able to complete their college degree within three years of graduating from high school.

Once they complete the program and earn a teaching certification, students will be preferred candidates for teaching positions within the Arlington school district.

“The AISD-UTA Teacher Academy will provide our students yet another relevant, rigorous learning experience as they prepare to become teachers themselves,” Cavazos said. “Teachers are at the core of the educational experience. It is our hope that these home-grown teachers will inspire students in the near future as they become Arlington ISD teachers themselves.”

Selection of academy students will begin next school year. Classes will take place at either the students’ home high school, UTA or the district’s new Career and Technical Center, which is scheduled to open in fall 2017.

The UTA-AISD Teacher Academy is one more example of the work that North Texas’s 21st century urban research university is doing to transform the student experience and ensure student success under the University’s Strategic Plan 2020: Bold Solutions | Global Impact.

State Rep. Chris Turner, D-Grand Prairie, said: "UTA and the Arlington Independent School District are building a strong partnership through their collective efforts to ensure that high school students have a clear path to a college degree and a fulfilling career. As Texas and our region grow, so does the demand for highly educated teachers. The new Teacher Academy will help address the critical need and have a lasting and positive impact on our community."

About The University of Texas at Arlington 

The University of Texas at Arlington is a Carnegie “highest research activity” institution of more than 50,000 students in campus-based and online degree programs and is the second-largest institution in The University of Texas System. The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked UTA as one of the 20 fastest-growing public research universities in the nation in 2014. U.S. News & World Report ranks UTA fifth in the nation for undergraduate diversity. The University is a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is ranked as the top four-year college in Texas for veterans on Military Times’ 2016 Best for Vets list. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more, and find UTA rankings and recognition at www.uta.edu/uta/about/rankings.php.

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.