AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Amarillo College is partnering with an additional university to help continue the increase of the number of teachers serving students throughout the Texas Panhandle.
According to a news release from the college, Amarillo College and Texas Woman’s University are establishing a partnership to create a pathway to teacher certification. The prospective educators are able to pursue certification through virtual coursework and by student teaching with participating school districts.
Officials from both Amarillo College and Texas Woman’s University will be present for a ceremony, celebrating the collaboration with an articulation agreement at 4 p.m. Tuesday at the Ware Student Commons at the college’s Washington Street Campus.
This comes after eight students graduated earlier this year from the 2+1 program Amarillo College partnered with Texas Tech University’s TechTeach program and the Amarillo Independent School District for. According to previous reports by MyHighPlains.com, this program gives students who graduate from Amarillo College the chance to complete a bachelor’s degree and earn a teacher certification in one year.
Students in the new program with Texas Woman’s University will complete the university’s online bachelor’s degree curriculum while completing student teaching at local schools, with support from university faculty both online and in-person, the release said. This comes after candidates earn associate degrees from Amarillo College and then transfer to the university’s Teacher Education Program without loss of credits.
Dennis Sarine, the director of teacher preparation and early childhood education at Amarillo College, said in the release that the partnership with Texas Woman’s University could help the more than 500 future teachers currently at Amarillo College.
“Texas Woman’s University is unique in the fact that they partner with rural districts to allow support staff seeking certification to work within the district to complete clinical teaching,” Sarine said in the release. “This articulation paves the way for seamless transfer with no loss of college hours, and students can complete their certifications in the communities in which they live. This innovation allows highly qualified candidates the opportunity to complete coursework virtually and only have to travel to their respective college or university for graduation events.”
Barbara Lerner, the vice provost for undergraduate studies and academic partnership at Texas Woman’s University, said in the release that this is the first time a formal agreement has occurred with the university and a Texas Panhandle-based higher education institution.
“Our partnership with Amarillo College reflects the value that Texas Woman’s places upon our transfer students,” Lerner said in the release. “We recognize that transfer students come to us fully prepared to persist and to graduate. Working together, TWU and Amarillo College will assist students in pursuit of their goals and serve workforce interests in the region and statewide.”