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Daily Cougar Archives

Volume 2, Issue 3                                    University of Houston

Teacher certification changes imminent

UH's school partnerships help students prepare for teaching careers

By Sylvia Rocha
Staff Writer

Students seeking teacher certification could expect a new degree plan within the next few years, according to certification officer Jan Gooden.

The state Legislature approved a measure allowing state-supported universities to make changes in their teacher-certification degree plans. Gooden said UH is holding meetings with other schools, including Texas Southern University, to determine what changes need to be made.

The current degree plan calls for all UH students to be able to teach grades pre-K through eight. Students must choose a specialized subject if they plan to teach junior high courses like math, science or English.

Students seeking elementary certification must also work at a designated school where they can choose to stay and teach after graduation. UH's partnerships with HISD and Spring Branch ISD, in which students teach classes as part of their last two semesters of study, help prepare UH students for the real world.

"HISD's partnerships with colleges and universities in Houston have greatly improved our ability to carry out HISD's mission to give every child in Houston the finest education possible," said HISD Superintendent Rod Paige. He added HISD's partnership with the universities benefit the city as well as the students.

Another campus program that puts students in touch with area schools is the Consistency Management and Cooperative Discipline Program. According to education professor Jerome Freiberg, the goal of the program is to improve the educational quality within the classroom while promoting self discipline among students. 

"Too many of our students are tourists in the classrooms and what we need are more citizens in our public schools and classrooms," said Freiberg. Recently, the program received a $500,000 grant from the Ford Foundation to continue its work.

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