Aspiring educators who are looking for affordable ways to either change careers or enter the field directly after graduating high school have an opportunity to do so through a new teaching apprenticeship that will launch in Hutto ISD this fall.

What you need to know

Starting in fall 2024, HISD will offer full-time positions that pair an aspiring teacher with a mentor as they complete their degree and certification requirements. The program is similar to the district's existing residency program, which allows college students in their senior year to teach in the classroom.

The district will pay for both tuition and certification of participants, who will fill paraprofessional openings throughout the district, Superintendent Raul Peña said, combatting a shortage of staff.

Cara Malone, HISD's assistant superintendent of human resources, said participants in the program could require varying levels of support, depending on their existing circumstances, but that the program could ultimately be a pathway to earning a bachelor's degree and becoming a certified educator debt-free.

About the program

Malone said successful applicants to the program must be accepted to a college or junior college. Applicants will fall into four "ramps" based on the number of credit hours earned prior to applying for the program.

The last tier of credit hours, 90-120, will fall under the district's teacher resident program, according to the district. Malone said participants will complete their coursework and certification outside of school hours, and receive one half-day of training from a certified teacher each month to learn new educational strategies.

She said the district is partnering with seven others across the state through a fellowship funded by the Department of Labor to offer the apprenticeship. She said HISD is the first district to do so in Central Texas.

What else?

Those interested in the program can reach the district via email at [email protected], or visit The district will hold an information session on the program at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 19 at the district's human resources cottage at 200 College St., Hutto. The application for the apprenticeship will open Feb. 20.