For the first time in modern Texas history, Hispanic students now make up a majority of those enrolled in Texas public schools (TEA, 2011). Approximately half of Hispanic students in Texas speak Spanish as their first language and begin their schooling officially identified as Limited-English Proficient (LEP) students. Over 90% are Spanish speakers, but over 100 other languages are spoken by EL students (ELs) in the Dallas area. Bilingual teachers are needed for Spanish-speaking students while ESL teachers are needed to serve speakers of other languages and to serve Spanish speakers in districts with fewer ELS. Shortages of both kinds of teachers are significant, but the shortage of bilingually certified teachers is especially acute.
The ¡Profes! grant is a federally funded, 5 year, collaboration between the Departments of Educational Leadership and Curriculum & Instruction at Texas A&M University-Commerce. The grant is funded by the US Department of Education Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA). The ¡Profes! grant seeks to assist in closing the gap in Bilingual/ESL educators and administrators in North/Northeast Texas. We have been able to accomplish this goal by offering scholarships and fellowships to students at undergraduate, masters, and doctoral level and workshops to teachers and administrators from the grant partner districts.
¡Profes! Undergraduate Scholarship
This competitive, non-needs based $2000-$3000/year scholarship seeks full-time, undergraduate juniors or seniors, or community college transfer students who want to become bilingual teachers. Candidates for this scholarship also include uncertified teachers, teacher aides & community liaisons who are bilingual (Spanish-English). Admission to the undergraduate teacher preparation program required.
¡Maestros! Graduate Fellowship
This competitive, non-needs based $3000-$4000/year fellowship seeks Masters or Doctoral students in Curriculum & Instruction specializing in bilingual or ESL education. Bilingualism (Spanish-English) preferred. Admission to the M.Ed. or Ed.D. program in Curriculum & Instruction required.
¡Directores! Graduate Fellowship
This competitive, non-needs based $3000-$4000/year fellowship seeks Masters or Doctoral students in Educational Administration who want to improve bilingual/ESL programs as a principals or school administrators. Two or more years of K-12 teaching experience required and bilingual (Spanish-English) preferred. Admission to the M.Ed. or Ed.D. program in Educational Administration required.