Teacher candidates from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley now have a two new homes for training with experienced cooperating teachers, With the upcoming fall semester, those in the university’s Student Teacher Education Preparation University Partnership will be joining classrooms in both McAllen and Los Fresnos ISD.
As part of STEP UP‘s goal in expanding and assisting future teachers in the Valley, teacher candidates will work with experienced teachers also to learn and adapt to a school culture.
The program began in 2015 with Harlingen CISD with 10 teacher candidates. This school year, 33 teacher candidates will work in elementary, middle and high school classrooms.
According to Criselda Garcia, associate dean for Initial Preparation Programs and Academic Affairs in the UTRGV College of Education and P-16 Integration, STEP UP can continue to expand with other district partners.
“We want to show the districts that a lot of programs are preparing teachers, but we’re preparing the best,” Garcia said. Students in STEP UP must have a 3.0 grade point average and go through a rigorous interview process.