SAN ANTONIO • Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) has been selected as one of 10 partner universities to participate in the Raising Texas Teachers program. This grant program will provide scholarships and technical support for students in OLLU’s undergraduate teacher preparation program.
Launched by the nonprofit organization Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation, the Raising Texas Teachers program will provide $50 million in scholarship funding and technical support over the next 10 years for students committed to a career in teaching. The investment is part of H-E-B Chairman and CEO Charles Butt’s continued philanthropic commitment to public education in Texas.
Selected students will receive $8,000 per year as part of the Charles Butt Scholarship for Aspiring Teachers, plus professional development and mentorship from experienced educators.
“Research consistently shows that the strength of the teacher makes the biggest difference in influencing a student’s success,” noted Charles Butt in a statement announcing the program. “To improve academic achievement, it is critical that Texas elevate the status of the teaching profession, strengthen the existing pool of aspiring teachers, and inspire our most talented high school graduates to consider a career in teaching.”
Alycia Maurer, PhD, chair of the OLLU Education Department, emphasized the impact this partnership will have on the students in OLLU’s education program. “Raise Your Hand Texas will support our students on their journey to teacher preparation,” said Dr. Maurer. “Many of our students face financial challenges in the final semesters because they are unable to work and complete the demanding requirements of field experiences and coursework. This is especially true during clinical teaching.”
According to Raise Your Hand Texas, the program was established to ensure the Texas students have access to the most qualified teachers. “Too often, teachers are asked to learn on the job with too little formal training in the practice of teaching. We wouldn’t ask a pilot to learn on the job, nor a doctor without close supervision from an expert practitioner. The profession of teaching, and the education of our children, is no less important,” said Alison Badgett, executive director of Raise Your Hand Texas. “With Raising Texas Teachers, our goal is to support universities that are rigorously preparing students to address the needs of 21st century students, and to help them to recruit the best and brightest to the profession.”
The 10 university partners were selected through a competitive process based on their capacity and commitment to deliver competency-based clinical preparation, and a willingness to establish strong collaborative relationships with districts where graduates teach.