Teacher reading to kids in classroom
The College of Education was chosen by the TEA to offer a new certification: early childhood- grade 3

School districts in our region continue to struggle with a teacher shortage. Most districts in West Texas are hundreds of teachers short and, as a result, classrooms are filled to the brim with students.  

UT Permian Basin is committed to serving our local school districts by offering programs like OC2UTPBFalcon Fast Track, and other teacher certifications to help educators feel prepared to enter the classroom. Recently, UTPBCollege of Education was chosen by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to offer a new certification: early childhood- grade 3.  

I think this program is something that is overdue, and I am glad we were chosen by the Texas Education Agency to be one of the first institutions to pilot the new certification program,” said Roy Hurst, Associate Dean of the College of Education. “I think we will see increasing benefits to our students and our local district partners as the program grows and matures. 

Aspiring educators will earn this certification simultaneously with their Bachelor’s degree. Hurst explained the certification will offer an increased focus on development in early childhood education as well as an emphasis on early literacy.  

A pillar of the University’s strategic plan is community outreach, which includes increasing the number of teachers graduating with their certification. The local districts have all stated a strong desire to emphasize early childhood education and early literacy, as a key to enhancing overall academic performance. This teacher preparation initiative will contribute to those local efforts. 

The early childhood- grade 3 certification will be offered starting in fall 2020. Hurst adds he’s looking forward to seeing the success of this new certification option for students.  

I feel pride in our efforts to benefit our students and our community. Our faculty and staff in the College of Education are committed to a servant-leader mindset, and we take a lot of pride in the success of our graduates.