Texas State University announced Nov. 21 its teacher education program was selected as a Raising Texas Teachers partner, an initiative supported by the Charles Butt Foundation. The 10-year, $50 million program was launched in 2017 with the goal of every student in every classroom in the state having an effective teacher.

The program has a multifold approach to recruit, train and retain teachers throughout Texas, especially as the number of teachers entering or staying in the field has declined and area school districts have felt the strain.

The program also has four short-term and four long-term goals to aid in this endeavor, including increasing the number, quality and diversity of teacher candidates enrolling in universities partnered with the Charles Butt Foundation and ensuring the demographics of the teaching workforce are on par with the student population in Texas.

Texas State is now one of 16 universities participating in the program.

"This recognition speaks to our university’s historic roots as a teacher's college up to our role today in graduating more teachers fully prepared for the classroom than any other university in Texas,” said Michael O’Malley, dean of the College of Education at Texas State, in a statement. “Working with the Charles Butt Foundation has been a transformative partnership for our teacher education program that benefits not only our students but the children they will educate throughout their careers.”

To secure partnership, the university participated in a "competitive" request for proposal process. The process is meant to identify the top university-based teacher programs in the state.

Teacher candidates coming from Texas State can apply for the Charles Butt Scholarship, an $8,000 a year scholarship to help cover the cost of attending university for up to four years. The scholarship also provides mentorship and development assistance and, overall, is meant to help recruit potential teachers.

In addition to the Charles Butt Scholarship, the university has secured $3 million in stipends for students in teacher residencies.

Texas State students in residency work with kindergarten through fifth grade students at various school districts in the area, including San Marcos, Lockhart, Hutto and Manor ISDs. The university is also in the process of adding a residency within Austin ISD.

“The residency is different from the standard pathway taken by education students, because it provides the continuity of being in the same classroom for the entire school year,” O’Malley said in the statement. “Placement in the same classroom for field work and student teaching allows for a deeper immersion into the culture of the classroom community and the formation of stronger, more supportive relationships with cooperating teachers, school leaders, students and their families.”