2+2 Career Ladder Teacher Licensure Program Scholarship

In September 2016 CESDP/NMHU was awarded funding for a five-year National Professional Development Program Grant through the U.S. Department of Education, Office of English Language Acquisition, through Every Student Succeeds Act. Based on the grant award, 30 paraprofessionals and 30 elementary and secondary teachers were recruited and selected from Espanola, Santa Fe, (original partnering school districts) Pojoaque and Cochiti (Bernalillo)
School Districts to receive full scholarships.

Paraprofessionals selected for this program began their program of study at Santa Fe Community College (SFCC) where they will earn their Associate of Arts degree. Upon completing the AA degree, the paraprofessionals will then transfer to New Mexico Highlands University (NMHU) where they will earn a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Elementary Education, a minor in English as a Second Language, a K-8 teaching license with a TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) endorsement. The proposed project will also recruit and select tenured teachers with master’s degrees from the targeted districts
(Espanola Public Schools and Santa Fe Public Schools) to serve as mentor teachers for selected paraprofessionals the first two years of their program of study. Teachers selected for the TESOL Endorsement Scholarship Program will receive their TESOL Endorsement through NM Public Education Department after completing 24 hours of required NMHU graduate coursework.

The partner Local Education Agencies (LEAs) targeted for program services are districts with the fastest growing English Language Learner (ELL) population. Students in the districts are continually demonstrating low scores on English language and content area tests of reading, writing and math. Even more alarming is the fact that the partner districts have few teachers who are endorsed to serve English Language Learners. Given the low numbers of bilingual/ESL
teachers in the partner districts, the districts historically hired bilingual paraprofessionals to assist teachers. With the growing numbers of ELLs in the partner districts and a lack of bilingual/TESOL endorsed teachers, a need exists to develop a “Grow Your Own” teacher education program designed to prepare paraprofessionals for roles as bilingual/TESOL endorsed teachers. As a result of the scholarship project, the selected paraprofessionals will be skilled in
meeting the academic, linguistic and cultural needs of the partner districts’ growing ELL student population.

This 2+2 Career Ladder Teacher Licensure Program Scholarship supports the development of a teacher education program that prepares paraprofessionals to provide effective instruction to ELL students. Upon completion of the five-year program, a study will be conducted to determine the overall impact of the project on preparing trainees to provide high quality instruction to all students, with a focus on equipping paraprofessionals with skills in teaching the growing ELL student population in Espanola, Santa Fe, Pojoaque and Cochiti. Parent, family and community involvement is also a key feature of the project. We are planning to apply for another National Professional Development Program Grant when new grant applications become available.