Focus # 3: English Language Learning Programs
The student population in OKCPS is 54 percent Hispanic, and over 40 languages are spoken within the district. The need to recruit and retain bilingual teachers continues to rise. To improve communication with English language learners, the Foundation provides three pathways to bilingual teaching careers:
- Bilingual Teacher Pipeline Project (BTPP)
- OKCPS High School to Teacher Pathway
- Urban Teacher Preparation Academy
The Foundation also provides Spanish classes for English-speaking OKCPS staff, who want to expand their knowledge through learning a second language.
Plans are underway to partner with the Community Literacy Center to expand ESL classes for OKCPS families.
Bilingual Teacher Pipeline Project
The Bilingual Teacher Pipeline Project (BTPP) provides financial and academic support for paraprofessionals already working in OKCPS to earn their teaching certification. Upon successful completion, the bilingual paraprofessionals become full-time teachers in OKCPS.
Participants’ books, tuition and certification tests are completely covered.
The certification is offered at four locations: Oklahoma City Community College, Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City, Rose State College and University of Central Oklahoma.
Some participants will be ready for teacher certification within two years; others will take four years.
How to Participate
- Complete the BTPP application and submit to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Email your principal and ask permission to enroll in the courses. Copy email@example.com to keep the Foundation apprised your principal’s response.
- Once your principal has approved your course enrollment and hours off-site, complete the Professional Development Request for Leave Form.
Note: Students enrolled in courses with clinical or observational hours need to complete these steps 30 days prior to the course beginning.
OKCPS High School to Teacher Pathway
Through our newly developed partnership with NAF Teacher Preparation Academy, we will recruit high school students to fill paraprofessional positions in OKCPS while they attend college through the Bilingual Teacher Pipeline Project.
Urban Teacher Preparation Academy
The Urban Teacher Preparation Academy (UTPA) is one of the nation’s premier teacher preparation programs for candidates driven to make a difference in the lives of OKCPS students. This unique partnership between OKCPS and the Foundation has recruited and trained approximately 100 certified teacher candidates since 2009. Participants apply for UTPA prior to student teaching. This program is optional.
Spanish for English-Speaking OKCPS Staff
To help teachers and staff communicate more effectively with students and parents, the Foundation offers opportunities for district staff to learn Spanish. Twice a year, the Foundation provides a free, 12-week Spanish course for OKCPS staff. The 30-35 person classes meet twice a week after school for 90 minutes.
Interested in taking the next available course? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Pathways to Bilingual Teaching Careers
There are several different pathways to bilingual teaching careers. Download our flyers to learn which path works for you.