Texas State University’s College of Education partners with Round Rock ISD and Austin Community College District to address Texas’ teacher workforce shortage

Inside TXST  Charlcee Cervantez | June 15, 2023

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The Texas State University College of Education, Round Rock ISD and Austin Community College District signed a partnership agreement on June 14, 2023, establishing the Grow Your Own teacher preparation program.

Texas State University’s College of Education, Round Rock ISD (RRISD) and Austin Community College District (ACC) celebrated the launch of a new teacher preparation partnership to help address Texas’ teacher workforce shortage.

The “Grow Your Own” partnership aims to tackle the current teacher shortage in Central Texas with a dual credit program for future teachers. The partnership is designed to prepare, develop, hire and retain high-quality PK-12 teachers.

“Teachers are the backbone of our society, and now more than ever, we need to create tools, resources and programs to bring more educators into our classrooms,” said Hafedh Azaiez, RRISD superintendent, who attended the ceremonial signing event held Wednesday at Texas State’s Round Rock Campus. “This partnership does exactly that by creating a seamless educational pathway for individuals to pursue their passion for teaching and support the mission of public schools.”

Michael O’Malley, dean of TXST’s College of Education, and Giao Phan, dean of Public and Social Services at ACC, were also in attendance.

“The best part of this initiative is seeing these three powerful partners all come together to help aspiring teachers in reaching their dreams,” O’Malley said. “These future teachers are one of the Round Rock community’s greatest assets, and it’s a privilege to work together with RRISD and ACC in ensuring that our candidates receive the highest quality preparation possible throughout their journey to becoming a teacher and to have the opportunity to begin their teaching career in RRISD.”

The partnership will create expedited pathways for RRISD high school students to begin taking dual credit education courses at ACC and then transfer seamlessly to Texas State to attain a bachelor’s degree and teacher certification with the university. Aspiring teachers from RRISD will be supported by the three institutions from high school to their bachelor’s degree and teacher certification.

“ACC believes in the transformative power of educational opportunities from preschool age through high school and into college,” said ACC Vice Chancellor of Instruction Gaye Lynn Scott. “We’re honored to be a part of this powerful partnership with Texas State University and RRISD. Together, we can help more high school students discover their purpose early on. With our shared missions, we can create a pipeline for highly trained, locally committed teachers into area schools.”

The program will also provide a pathway for student teaching and potential employment in Round Rock ISD.

“One of the really exciting aspects of this partnership is the ability to bring Round Rock ISD alumni back into the district,” said Maneka Brooks, associate dean of academic affairs and educator preparation for TXST’s College of Education. “Students benefit from having teachers who are a part of and are committed to their communities.”

The Texas State Round Rock campus offers various education degrees and certifications. Current programs include a bachelor of science in education (EC-6/ESL), a master’s degree in educational leadership with principal certification, and master’s degrees in elementary education and secondary education with teacher certification. For more information regarding programs please visit the Aspiring Teachers Page or email education@txstate.edu.

For more information, contact University Communications:

Jayme Blaschke, 512-245-2555

Sandy Pantlik, 512-245-2922