Heritage University, propelled by the success of its collaboration with Educational Service District 105 (ESD 105) in offering an innovative teacher preparation program known as HU105, is now expanding the program into the Tri-Cities area. The University is joining forces with ESD 123 in Pasco to form HU123, which trains students to become teachers by placing them directly into elementary and middle school classrooms.
As part of HU123, teacher candidates will work in the classroom in teams of three, wherein they will be supervised by a certified teacher, also known as a “core” teacher. By the time they graduate, the candidates already have a year and a half to two years of experience in the classroom teaching students. The benefits of HU123 to children in these classrooms include: greater attention from the teacher, more individualized study, and quick response from teachers to their academic needs. “Studies have shown that student performance in classrooms being taught under this teacher training model improves significantly. The teacher candidates learn to teach by teaching in this residency mode,” said Merrilou Harrison, the Dean of the College of Education and Psychology at Heritage University.
The formation of HU123 is in response to the desperate need for more teachers in Washington and in the nation. With Heritage’s existing footprint in the Tri-Cities via its relationship with Columbia Basin College, expanding the current teacher preparation program to include the residency model was considered a logical step.
“This new partnership with ESD 123 builds upon the current teacher preparation program in the Tri-Cities. HU123 will bring the unique teacher training program to school districts and schools in that region. We are excited to work towards filling our schools with additional much-needed, highly qualified teachers,” said Harrison.
Harrison also said for those people who are interested in making a career switch to teaching, Heritage’s Master’s in Teaching program will allow them to earn a teaching certificate quickly. “The program leverages the education a candidate has already completed to earn their Master’s in Teaching, and teaching certificate,” said Harrison.
JoAnn Henderson, the Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning at ESD 123, is excited that this partnership will boost teaching staff among the 23 school districts served by ESD 123. “The shortage of good teachers and substitute teachers continues to be a serious issue for school districts across the state and the nation. Heritage University has a good reputation for training teachers, and we are confident this partnership will compliment the support we provide our school districts,” said Henderson.
HU123 will start offering classes this fall. People who are interested in enrolling should contact Michelle Story or Julie Johnson in the College of Education and Psychology, (509) 865-0590.
For more information, contact: Joanie Monroy, (509) 865-0448 or Monroy_J@heritage.edu.
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