Focus #4: Teacher and Leader Professional Development
Urban Teacher Preparation Academy
One of the persistent challenges in all public school settings is the loss of teachers in their first year. Add to that the challenges facing teachers in urban districts and the issues compound. Much of this is due to many teachers entering the profession under-prepared. The Urban Teacher Preparation Academy provides valuable tools to prepare teachers for entering the urban school environment.
What is UTPA?
• The Urban Teacher Preparation Academy (UTPA) strives to provide higher retention of and more highly qualified/highly effective teachers in Oklahoma City Public Schools.
• UTPA began in 2009 with the intentional purpose of exposing teacher candidates to a rich variety of principles, knowledge, resources and experiences that culminate in their readiness to make a positive impact on students in OKCPS.
• UTPA’s mission: Enhance the preparation of pre-service teachers to better serve the diverse needs of students in high need schools in urban environments; Infuse at a deeper level current and emerging technologies into teaching and learning for pre-service candidates, in-service teachers and P-12 students; and Provide a richer, expanded set of clinical experiences for pre-service and new teachers.
Diversity Pipeline Project
Inspired by the success of the Bilingual Teacher Pipeline Program (BTPP), the Diversity Pipeline Program is for all paraprofessionals of color. OKCPS is committed to increasing diversity in its teacher ranks, because it improves outcomes for students. The Diversity Pipeline Program gives valued OKCPS employees the chance to finish college and earn their teaching certificate - with no debt - while staying employed full time.
The new initiative is made possible by Ray and Pat Potts, who donated $56,000 for the first year and will provide challenge grants for the following two years.