On October 16, the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education approved a new pathway that will equip college and career-bound high school students with the intent to pursue a career in education with knowledge and skills necessary for success when they graduate, Louisiana Believes shares.
Called the Pre-Educator Pathway, a part of the nationally recognized Jump Start career and education program, high school students will be able to take a unique progression of courses to encourage the development of strong, foundational academic knowledge and skills. In addition, students main acquire around 30-40 hours of practicum experience the help them become familiar with the K-12 teaching environment.
According to the Pre-Educator Pathway Overview, the mission of this pathway is to cultivate highly skilled educators by guiding young people on a path to becoming accomplished teachers, beginning in high school and extending through college and into the profession.
This pathway is geared for those who are seeking to become an early childhood education teacher, elementary school teacher, middle school education teacher, secondary education teacher, special education teacher, art teacher, foreign language teacher, or computer science teacher.
The statewide credentials that are included in this pathway are CIW Web Security Professional (Advanced), CIW Web Security Associate (Basic), CIW Web Security Specialist (Basic), CompTIA A+ Basic, and CompTIA Security+.
“We are hopeful the newly-approved pathway will elevate the education profession as a career option for our young people. We also hope it builds a pipeline to fulfill the state’s need for diverse, capable, 21st Century educators.” said State Superintendent John White.
The practicum the high school students will experience will be a combination of classroom observation and classroom assistance, and they will develop an understanding of diverse learners and different learning environments.
The Pre-Educator Pathway will help high school students seeking a TOPS University Diploma and those planning on becoming a certified teacher by guiding them towards being accomplished educators throughout all stages of their life. By beginning this pathway in High School, the students who choose this pathway will be catered to passing the Louisiana teacher certification exams and the General Teacher Competencies required by Louisiana for teacher certification.
For students who don’t plan on becoming a certified teacher but intend to enter the education profession, the Pre-Educator Pathway will prepare them to take on alternative roles – like child care worker, substitute teacher, paraprofessional, professional tutor, or school system cyber security analyst.
Amy Weems, an assistant professor in ULM’s School of Education, said, “We are proud to offer this pathway for high school students who have an interest in serving their communities through the teaching profession. This pathway was built through strong partnerships with our local school districts, and we look forward to helping those districts to train their best and brightest high school students who will return to serve future generations. It is the very best example of how ‘grow your own’ initiatives can exponentially improve the quality of education we can offer to our students to better our communities.”
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