Texas Tech University has received grants totaling $9.1 million in support of efforts to expand and strengthen teacher talent pipelines and prepare educators for diverse classrooms.
The grants, which include $7.2 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, $900,000 from Raise Your Hand Texas, $500,000 from the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, $300,000 from the Peter and Carmen Lucia Buck Foundation, and $200,000 from the Silver Giving Foundation, will be used to expand the reach of the University-School Partnerships for the Renewal of Educator Preparation National Center (US PREP), an initiative to transform teacher preparation programs in partnership with universities and school systems.
Launched in 2015 and housed in the university’s College of Education, US PREP currently has university-school partners in Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee, and Texas and prepares more than five thousand teacher candidates a year using innovative training methods developed at Texas Tech. With the new funding, the suite of programs will be rolled out at a second cohort of university-school partners — San Diego State University and University of the Pacific in California; Lehman College, Brooklyn College, and Touro College in New York; and the University of Texas at San Antonio, University of Texas at El Paso, and a yet-to-be-announced university in Texas — improving educator talent pipelines for some of the largest school districts in the U.S.
"The ultimate goal of the coalition is to positively impact K-12 students by building teacher-candidate competency to meet all students where they are and advance their learning by giving them what they need," said US PREP executive director Sarah Beal. "US PREP supports each of the providers so they are grounded in authentic university-school partnerships. When universities and K-12 systems work together, they become incubators of improvement and innovation."