Waco, Tx — The field of teaching is becoming more competitive, so teachers are seeking higher levels of education to be better equipped for the classroom.
A nearly two-year-old partnership between the Education Service Center, ESC, in Waco and Louisiana College is helping individuals to get master's degrees while pursing teacher certification. For 20 years, ESC Region 12 has been offering a Teacher Preparation and Certification Program. And for many, it's life changing.
"I didn't really have a degree that I could fall back on. Even with a business degree, without the experience, since I stayed at home with my kids for 13 years," said Amy Haga, who is now a teacher at Rapoport Academy.
Haga finished the program in six months and has gone from a stay-at-home mom to earning a competetive salary. Completion time of the process varies, however, depending on scheduling and completion of a paid internship.
"It's not a long, drawn-out process where you're looking at years of school. Like I said, I was able to do the program in six months," said Haga.
Recently, this teacher certification added the option of earning a master's degree from Louisiana College while getting certified to teach in the classroom.
"People are unhappy in their jobs. We have people coming back from the military. We have people coming that used to be nurses. I have doctors in the program now that are teachers and just so satisfied and happy with their lives," said Betsy King, Field Base Supervisor of Region 12's Teacher Preparation Program.
After successful completion of the program, teachers are able to go out into the field and teach in the areas where they're needed the most.
"Math, science, bilingual, ESL is always a high need area. And, Region 12 likes to make sure we cover all those areas, and we have the most qualified students going out to apply for jobs," said King.
On average, the class has taken in around 30 to 40 new candidates, in the past, twice a year. The next cycle starts August 27. To find out more about the program or to attend an information session, go to www.esc12.net.