By Selene Rodriguez
To address a nationwide teacher shortage and encourage more students to consider the profession, South Texas College and Teach Us Texas have joined forces by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), designed to facilitate a pathway into the company’s alternative teaching certification program.
“Our students seek immediate relevance in their chosen careers, and what better way to inspire future educators than by showcasing the opportunities awaiting them after graduating from STC,” said STC President Ricardo J. Solis. “We are thrilled to partner with Teach Us Texas, that will provide additional support to our students and allow us to graduate even more dedicated and well-prepared educators.”
The partnership will allow STC students pursuing an associate degree in Teaching or a Substitute Teacher & Teacher Assistant continuing education certificate a seamless transition into the program.
Teach Us Texas has also agreed to waive a total $950 in enrollment fees and tuition charges, symbolizing a significant discount to STC students, alumni and staff.
“We don’t want to stop at a financial commitment; we really want to take advantage of this opportunity to make a difference with the help of STC,” said Teach Us Executive Director of Educator Preparation and Certification Pamela Wetherington. “Collaborating with STC was an easy decision because of the way our values and missions align. Together, we can create paths for academic success, support educators and address teacher shortages in the Rio Grande Valley region and beyond.”
Established in 2021, the company offers an online teacher certification program designed for aspiring educators to accomplish their career goals at their own pace.
Other services include test preparation and professional development offerings.
“Teach Us Texas was born out of a merge with Excellence in Teaching, a Weslaco-based, high-quality certification program widely recognized across the state,” added Wetherington. “The RGV holds a special place in our hearts and we are committed to make an impact and change lives for this community.”
Promoted by Teach Us Texas Executive Director of Operations Luis Gonzalez, this agreement began as a heartfelt initiative for the STC alumnus to express gratitude and give back to the school that provided the resources for him to succeed.
“This is coming back full circle. I started my first alternative certification company project (Excellence in Teaching) on these same halls, and now I’m back, trying to change lives the way STC changed mine,” said Gonzalez. “I have had many great mentors here at STC and I try to replicate their passion, commitment and enthusiasm in everything I do.”
Gonzalez, who obtained a bachelor’s degree in 2009 from STC’s Technology Management program, now Operations Management, showed his gratitude to his instructors for always encouraging and pushing him to strive for more.
“Much of what we do at Teach Us is providing guidance and support, the journey to become a certified teacher is not easy, is not always a straight path, but we are here for them, which I learned from STC,” he added. “I would tell anybody that enrolling at STC will change their life, and so will becoming a certified teacher. So, we’re excited to be able to assist aspiring educators and bring more people into the beautiful profession of teaching.”
For more information on the Associate of Arts in Teaching or other programs offered at STC, visit southtexascollege.edu/academics/education/ or call 956-872-6706.