Brazosport Independent School District, in partnership with Brazosport College and INSPIRE TEXAS | Educator Preparation by Region 4, developed the first K-12 Teacher Registered Apprenticeship program in Texas. Registered Apprenticeship Programs (RAP) are employer-driven, high-quality career pathway systems that work cohesively with training providers; allowing employers to develop and prepare their future workforce.
May 19, 2023
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY | At Brazosport ISD, the RAP partnership is a community-based solution that seeks to support sustainable talent pipelines and expanded pathways to develop teachers; with a commitment to understand and remove barriers for those choosing to enter into the teaching profession. Offering prospective teachers—including paraprofessionals, career changers, and high school or college students—the chance to work in the classroom while completing their preparation to become a certified teacher. The Registered Apprenticeship Program provides multiple entrances with scaffolded support to enter the teaching profession, also known as on-ramps; which are designed to meet people where they are in their college and professional journey.
Brazosport Independent School District created the enrichED Pathways Program in order to provide a low- or no-cost pathway for nontraditional students to convert their interest in teaching into a skill building pathway to become highly-qualified educators.
During the launch in August of 2022, Brazosport ISD welcomed 65 apprentices into the program. With clearly defined on-ramps, the program offers intentional support, development and on-the-job training to meet apprentices where they are in their education journey to become a highly-qualified teacher. Within the current context of rising teacher vacancies, this approach to mentorship, teaching, and learning furthers the partnership’s goal of quality educator preparation from start to finish, resulting in higher retention rates.
The partnership recognizes that our current system is designed to generate exactly what we are producing, which is inadequate and leaves many students without a certified teacher. One fundamental shift within our partnership occurred when initiatives that are usually siloed (e.g. Dual Credit, GYO, Residency) suddenly emerged as efforts that should be considered together as a cohesive talent development strategy. The apprenticeship not only provides eligibility to more people, but also provides the needed resources (financial, academic, and wraparound services) to support the apprentice in their journey.
The program offers a no-cost or low-cost program to support apprentices with tuition, fees, and certification. This is made possible through sustainable funding sources in the district. The cost burden for the district can be supplemented by braiding funds from workforce development, grants, and philanthropic sources. The skillful and intentional braiding of financial resources allows the dollars to work differently in the district to financially sustain a multi-year, degree bearing apprenticeship program. Each member of the registered apprenticeship focuses on ways to reallocate, reduce, and reinvest in the registered apprenticeship. The partnership continues to seek funding opportunities to enhance programmatic offerings in three major areas (1) Wage Reimbursements (2) Tuition and Training Reimbursements (3) Wraparound Services.
Eligibility determinations for the enrichED Pathways Program are outlined by four on-ramps into the program. The on-ramps visibly demonstrate how people can capitalize on their interest in being an educator and shows how apprentices will be employed and developed throughout the length of the apprenticeship. In addition, the strategy supports the equity and access needed to guarantee that our workforce represents the students and communities that we serve.
Capitalizing on the intentional, tiered support to systematically grow and develop the future teachers in our district, we have created four apprentice on-ramps which offers opportunities for first time college students, current students and reconnected students.
The clearly defined on-ramps offer intentional support, development, and on-the-job training to meet apprentices where they are in their education and certification journey to become a highly-qualified teacher.
Courses, Credits & Teaching Credential
Registered Apprenticeships connect education, training, and service providers to the school district, to provide students with a seamless sequence of courses, credits and credentials that lead to teacher certification. The Registered Apprenticeship leverages four key concepts to support apprentices in degree completion and teacher certification: (1) Affordable college tuition (2) Modularized curriculum that is offered flexibly to apprentices (3) College advising that honors transfer credits in an additive fashion (4) Prioritizing prior learning assessments and work based learning for college credit.
The program also emphasizes the depth of the partnership between the program and the employer, connecting coursework with on-the-job experience to provide a holistic learning experience.
All apprentices must meet Texas state requirements for Standard Certification.
Apprentices will be in the work environment immediately. Apprenticeships present school districts with a unique opportunity to address the talent needs in their school community using hands-on experiences. The classroom experiences provide context for the explicit learning in coursework. Apprentices are also learning about teaching tacitly from the mentor teacher. Apprentices participate in a structured, sequenced continuum of work-based learning experiences to upskill and reskill.
These employment and training opportunities remove equity and access barriers by providing opportunities to expand the talent pipeline and engage untapped, underemployed, underrepresented and underserved candidates.
Participants may serve as paraprofessionals, instructional assistants, substitutes, and other similar roles throughout the duration of the program, with a culminating experience in a year-long assignment as a resident teacher.
The apprentices at every on-ramp benefit from clear and actionable feedback from a mentor (journeyman). Apprentices receive feedback regularly as they practice and refine their skills. The apprentices also record themselves enacting discrete teaching skills in the classroom. Each recording receives time-stamped feedback to highlight areas of reinforcement and areas of refinement. Participants are assigned a mentor teacher and attend on the job training sessions with the Success Coach. The Teacher Residency experience is the culminating or capstone experience where the mentor and teacher resident co-teach students for one year. The Teacher Resident assumes responsibility for the classroom in increasing increments as the school year progresses.
The enrichED Pathways | K-12 Teacher Registered Apprenticeship Program remains focused on clearing the path for people to join the teaching profession. The current partnership remains laser focused on sustainable funding sources to expand programmatic offerings. Our partnership seeks to be a catalyst for systematic change and to scale apprenticeships deeply into the K-12 school system. Scaling Deep focuses on the expansion of K-12 Teacher Registered Apprenticeships by supporting the needs of the local school community. The primary driver would be the needs of each employer. School districts develop strategic vision and enact change that is deeply rooted in people, relationships, and school communities. The partnership will begin offering experiential learning sessions to help other employer partners implement the apprenticeship. As a group of practitioners in teacher apprenticeships, the learning opportunities will grow as we learn how each organizational structure embeds the apprenticeship into the overall culture of the district.
LEARN MORE | Brazosport ISD - Human Resources