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SMU, UNT-Dallas Share $10 Million In North Texas Scholarships To Attract Future Teachers

Bill Zeeble
SMU hopes to add more education students like these in 2018, when it gets $5 million to offer in scholarships. UNT-Dallas will also get $5 million. They're two of 10 Texas universities receiving millions from HEB's Chair Charles Butt.

Southern Methodist University and UNT-Dallas Monday each received $5 million in scholarship money to help attract students committed to teaching careers.

The funding from the Raise Your Hand Texas foundation will help provide training and development opportunities.

At SMU, the scholarships will target the two-year master's program, according to education professor Amy Ferrell.

"The people I think we had in mind were just all those people who come to us looking for a more fulfilling career, and who really hear the call," Ferrell says. "It really takes someone who realizes that they want to be with kids, and they want to do good with kids and teach kids."

Ferrell says this program should boost the number of expert instructors who'll teach the next generation of Texans.

Professor Amy Ferrell, SMU

"It's critical that we put people in the pipeline who are as ready as possible," Ferrell says. "Teaching is a practice. It's something that we expect for people to improve over time. But there absolutely is a level of readiness that we can provide people here that is different than other pathways than alternative certification or non-degreed programs."

Ten Texas colleges are sharing $50 million. Funds are part of H-E-B chairman Charles Butt's efforts to improve public education.

Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues.