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October 2002

Release Date: October 9, 2002

Houston Endowment Grant Helps ASU Train New Teachers for Longevity

Helping find the key to keeping more novice teachers in the public school classroom is the goal of a project undertaken by Angelo State University's School of Education in conjunction with other universities in the Texas State University System (TSUS).

The Novice Teacher Induction Program (NTIP) through ASU is providing 28 first-year teachers in the San Angelo Independent School District with half-time mentors to help them master the multiple demands made upon them and their time in the classroom. Additionally, participants in the program meet twice a month for evening seminars on education.

ASU Education Dean Dr. John Miazga said NTIP seeks to retain more new teachers in the profession by providing them an enhanced learning environment tailored to meet their specific needs at a point early enough in their careers to help keep them in the profession.

"The unacceptable attrition rate of new teachers is exacerbating the growing shortage of certified teachers in Texas and in other states," Miazga said. "This program addresses that attrition rate by providing additional support to help novice teachers get through their early years and build a foundation for a long-term teaching career."

The program is funded by a grant from Houston Endowment Inc., which is providing monies to cover the tuition, fees and books for the participating teachers, who will earn three hours of graduate degree credit during both the fall and spring semesters at ASU. Those credit hours can later be applied toward a master's degree in education at ASU.

To cover local costs, the university has received first-year funding of $142,000 from Houston Endowment as part of the overall $2 million grant to the TSUS. A similar amount will be available for the second year of the project.

NTIP is designed to integrate the seminar experience with the ongoing classroom teaching of the new educators. The program provides an experienced mentor to help the new teachers successfully navigate all required teaching and administrative responsibilities.

In addition to covering the challenges faced by new teachers and strategies for dealing with them, the course will examine contemporary educational issues including accountability, inclusion, integration of technology into the classroom, parental involvement and community participation.

Miazga said having an NTIP mentor during the first year of teaching helps new teachers make more manageable the demands placed upon them.

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