July 29, 2008

Aid for Educators: UHV Receives Grant to Help Alleviate Teacher Shortage

By Rubi Reyes, Victoria Advocate, Texas

Jul. 29--Substitute teacher Roxanne Torres is getting a little help in her quest to become a teacher.

The University of Houston-Victoria recently received a $492,672 grant that will help teacher's aides and long-term substitutes, like Torres, become teachers.

The three-year grant from the Greater Texas Foundation will fund UHV's Access to Success program.

The program provides scholarships, tuition and books to area school district employees who want to become teachers.

"Access to Success connects us with students who might not otherwise attend college and provides them with resources and opportunity to enroll," said Tim Hudson, UHV president.

The grant will also fund research expenses to study the effectiveness of the program and provide an additional incentive of $3,500 to any student who becomes certified to teach in the critical need areas of math and science.

"I was motivated to go back to school because of the extra help," said Torres, an Access to Success member.

Torres is a mother of three who began substituting about four years ago. She heard about the program while she was a substitute.

"This program has given me the extra push that I need to continue and succeed," Torres said.

The recent grant has uprooted a program that was near end of grant money in the 2006-2007 school year.

Students involved in the program admit that without it returning to school would be extremely difficult.

"This program is very beneficial and has encouraged me to reach my goal of becoming a teacher," Torres said.

For paraprofessional Cathy Taylor, becoming a teacher has always been her goal and was hesitant to return to school because of costs.

"The program takes a big burden off of me financially," Taylor said. "I just feel like teaching is my calling."

The grant will allow for 25 to 50 new students to enter the program each year.

"I know that through this grant I will eventually get to where I want to be," Torres said.

Rubi Reyes is a reporter for the Advocate. Contact her at 361-580-6578 or [email protected] or comment on this story at www.VictoriaAdvocate.com.


Teacher's aides and long term substitutes for area school districts.

Must apply for the program and show financial need to be accepted.

Must complete classes at UHV and follow the same degree plan as other education students.

Must be a Texas resident.

Demonstrate financial need.

Work as an educational aide in a Texas public school for at least one school year within the five years preceding the term or semester for which the exemption is received or have accrued at least 180 days experience as substitute teachers within the past five years.

Meet satisfactory academic progress requirements for their college or university.

For more information contact Carol Klages, program coordinator and associate professor of education for UHV, at [email protected]


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