UNLV is teaming up with the Public Education Foundation (PEF) to provide new paths into teaching careers for local students and support professionals. Building on a growing coalition of programs working to address Clark County’s teacher shortage, the partnership will bring together teacher licensure candidates and experienced licensed educators to ensure future teachers have the support they need to complete their degree and enter the classroom.
Additionally, UNLV and PEF announced that they have completed the sale of PEF’s building at 4350 S. Maryland Parkway to the university for the future home of UNLV’s Division of Educational Outreach. Later this year, PEF administrative staff will relocate to space on UNLV’s campus, while the PEF Teacher Superstore, which provides school supplies to teachers to reduce their out-of-pocket expenses, will relocate to a separate property to be announced in the near future.
UNLV and PEF believe these actions underscore the importance of close partnerships between the community and the higher education system, in collaboration with the Clark County School District (CCSD), to address important public education issues.
“Remarkable things happen when innovation and community converge, as our College of Education and partners continue to show in their creative efforts to address Nevada’s chronic K-12 teacher shortage,” said UNLV President Keith E. Whitfield. “This partnership with the Public Education Foundation is another great example of like-minded organizations working together to strengthen and diversify the pipeline of highly qualified teachers entering our local classrooms.”
UNLV and PEF’s partnership will establish a mentorship program to support CCSD high school students enrolled in pre-teaching dual enrollment programs and current school paraprofessionals as they progress towards a bachelor’s degree. Each candidate will be connected with a licensed teacher who has worked three or more years in K-12 public schools to serve as a mentor in the year before they enter a teaching program.
Mentors will assist candidates with finding and accessing wrap-around supports aimed at reducing the variety of barriers they could face on the path to becoming a teacher, such as, applying for college admissions and financial aid, passing the Praxis knowledge test, and meeting immediate needs like childcare and transportation. Mentors will also share their perspectives to ensure mentees are prepared for what they will experience in the classroom.
UNLV, PEF and other organizations such as CCSD and the Clark County Education Association are also collaborating on a program to provide teaching candidates with mentorship in the first three years of their teaching careers, including support with curriculum development, student and family engagement skills, and stress management.
“PEF’s mission is to work collaboratively with the entire community and education system to address immediate, critical education issues. The chronic and growing teacher shortage should be viewed as a crisis for all of us in Clark County, with the greatest immediate impact on our students, families and educators,” said Rich Broome, CEO of the Public Education Foundation. “Working together with UNLV to reduce and eventually eliminate teacher shortages will benefit all children educated in our public schools, and make a substantial, positive contribution to the community’s long-term wellbeing,” he added.
UNLV is a doctoral-degree-granting institution of more than 30,000 students and nearly 4,000 faculty and staff that has earned the nation’s highest recognition for both research and community engagement from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. UNLV offers a broad range of respected academic programs and is committed to recruiting and retaining top students and faculty, educating the region’s diverse population and workforce, driving economic activity, and creating an academic health center for Southern Nevada. Learn more at unlv.edu.
About the Public Education Foundation
The Public Education Foundation (PEF) unites the community to inspire support of our public schools. In partnership with the Clark County School District (CCSD), PEF helps guide effective investments in education to meet the immediate, critical needs of our students, families, and educators. For more information about PEF, please visit thepef.org. Follow us on Facebook @ThePublicEducationFoundation and Twitter @ThePEFtoday.