The University of Central Oklahoma received a $20,000 grant from AT&T for the Prospective Teachers Academy, an initiative started by the UCO College of Education and Professional Studies to assist and prepare Oklahoma City Public School students for a college degree and teacher certification.
The Prospective Teachers Academy, formerly known as the Academy Apprenticeship Program, is a partnership with OKCPS that provides a “grow your own” framework for the district by identifying and developing high school sophomore, junior and senior students considering a career in teaching.
The goal is to guide these students back to a setting similar to OKCPS where they can lead students and understand the various challenges faced in urban environments.
Academy participants attend a series of cost-free workshops at UCO, allowing them to develop mentoring relationships with UCO faculty and staff, prepare for success as a teacher education student in college and get information on scholarships and more.
Currently, UCO works with U.S. Grant, Capitol Hill and Southeast high schools and plans to expand to other Oklahoma City Public School high schools.
“We are grateful for the support from our friends at AT&T. This important gift will enable us to increase our outreach efforts to attract students in area middle and high schools to the teaching profession. The ultimate outcome of this work will be a richer and deeper pool of passionate and well prepared teachers for urban schools in the Oklahoma City metro,” said James Machell, dean of the College of Education and Professional Studies.
The university leads other urban education efforts, including the successful Urban Teacher Preparation Academy. That program, also a partnership with OKCPS, prepares UCO teacher candidates to thrive in urban classrooms through intensive mentoring and a yearlong student teaching experience.
FOR MORE information and an informational video on the Prospective Teacher Academy, visit www.uco.edu/ceps/utpa and click on the tab labeled “Prospective Teachers Academy.”