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UTSA is training top-tier educators for the San Antonio community

UTSA is training top-tier educators for the San Antonio community

Since 2004, UTSA has trained and certified more than 6,100 students to become teachers

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(March 23, 2016) – The UTSA College of Education and Human Development (COEHD) is training the top-tier educators of tomorrow. Since fall 2004, the college has trained and certified more than 6,100 student teachers, many of which teach in San Antonio area schools today.

“UTSA is recognized across Texas for its excellence in preparing students for the rigors of teaching,” said Janet Scott, director of student teaching for COEHD. “A vast majority of our student teachers finish their exams and become the teachers who educate UTSA’s next generation of students.”

Before UTSA education majors can graduate with their degrees and become certified teachers, they must complete a semester of required student teaching. The experience gives students the opportunity to practice instructional techniques, manage a classroom, navigate a school setting and its auxiliary services, and work as a member of a professional team.

UTSA students can be trained and certified to teach early childhood education to sixth grade, middle school or high school. UTSA also offers specialized certifications such as P.E., art, music and special education.

Susan Giles ’01 was in her mid-40s when she decided to enroll as a UTSA education student. It wasn’t an easy decision for her, since she would need to juggle her education, a full-time career and raising her five children.  

“I remember the trepidation I felt attending my first class at UTSA and feeling like I might never fit in,” Giles said. “But then I noticed that there were many non-traditional students walking around campus or in my classes. Teachers accepted me. Fellow students became friends.”

Giles graduated with her bachelor’s in education in 2001. Now 66, she teaches at Fabra Elementary in Boerne, Texas, where she specializes in teaching students with dyslexia. Earlier this year, Fabra Elementary awarded her a Teacher of the Year distinction for her work.

Edward Kinnear ’07 was another UTSA alum recognized by his school as a Teacher of the Year. An 8th grade science and robotics teacher with Boerne Middle School South, Kinnear says UTSA prepared him well for his teaching career.

“I had some great instructors who utilized creative and challenging lessons in their classrooms,” Kinnear said. “Of course this material continues to serve as a model for my profession. But I also remember the instructors who worked with me understandingly while I was a student who was also a full-time working father.”

Each semester, hundreds of new teachers are recognized at the UTSA Teacher Induction Ceremony, hosted by COEHD. The ceremony gives UTSA education majors the opportunity to invite family members, friends and mentors to celebrate their accomplishment. School districts across the region also attend the ceremony to celebrate the newest additions to the profession.

Most importantly, the ceremony also gives UTSA students a chance to reflect on the impact of their training and education and how the lessons they learned will inform them as teachers.

“I carry the lessons that I was taught at UTSA with me directly into the classroom,” Giles said. “UTSA provided a springboard for my jump into teaching and provided me the tools to make me feel more confident as an educator.”

UTSA is the leading provider of educators in San Antonio and South Texas. COEHD is responsible for innovative research and grants in professional development, technology, enhancement, health, school readiness, and bi-national and bicultural issues.


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UTSA's Mission

The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.

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