Waco ISD launches future teachers program for highschoolers
WACO, Texas (KWTX) - At just about 14 years old a group of Waco ISD 8th graders have committed to careers in the classroom.
At an event Saturday, the district launched its Future Educators Association-- a program that allows students to work towards a bachelor’s degree for becoming a teacher while they are in high school.
“These students will study with McLennan Community College while they’re in high school. So they will graduate high school with an associate’s degree from MCC and then they will go on for two more years to get their bachelor’s degree from Tarleton state university or Texas Tech University. "
Waco ISD Superintendent Susan Kincannon said the district partnered with those two universities and began the Future Educator’s Academy in part to address the shortage of teachers plaguing schools nationwide.
“We were actually struggling with teacher retention before the pandemic and the pandemic has exasperated that teacher turnover problem that we have in the state,” Kincannon said.
Waco ISD said 50 students have committed to the program as part of its first cohort.
As part of the program Waco ISD commits to give these students a preference in hiring once they receive their teaching certification and the students will hopefully return to teach at the district.
“I grew up in Waco ISD all of my school life,” said Nahyeli Villa one students who has committed to the program. “So it will mean a lot to come back and teach the kids that are also here as well.”
The program begins once the students start high school in the fall. They are expected to have their teaching certification by 2028.
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