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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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High school students have new pathway to teaching careers

High school students in Las Cruces interested in teaching careers can start preparing earlier through the Teacher Pathway program established by the Las Cruces Public Schools and New Mexico State University's College of Education.

sistance from a $70,000 Teacher Enhancement grant from the New Mexico Commission on Higher Education, a program to provide pre-teaching classes and concurrent credit courses at New Mexico State was developed.

Comprehensive curriculums for Pre Teaching I and Pre Teaching II classes aimed at high school freshman and sophomore students were purchased and teachers in the area trained to support students wanting to become teachers. The classes are now available at Las Cruces, Mayfield and Onate high schools. The curriculum was designed by the South Carolina Center for Teacher Recruitment and has been field tested in more than 150 schools in 10 states.

After completing both courses, junior and senior level students who meet admissions requirements can enroll in lower-level education courses at the university for dual credit.

"The university is excited to have this program on campus," said Michael Morehead, associate dean for students and programs for New Mexico State's education college. "This program is needed in the community to encourage students of all ages to enter the education field."

"Students in the program can earn up to 12 credit hours in the education college by the time they graduate from high school," said Brad Mazdra, assistant advisement services coordinator for the education college. "Introducing high school freshmen to teaching possibilities will lay a foundation that will serve them well in the future."

The grant also funded the development of Future Educators of America chapters in three high schools and seven middle schools in Las Cruces. Membership has grown to more than 300 students.

The Teacher Pathway program exemplifies the mission of student chapters of Future Educators of America, which is to assist students in exploring teaching as a career option, said Carole Ferriman, a career specialist for the Las Cruces Public Schools.

"These are such exciting programs," said Deanna Voegeli, a career specialist for the Las Cruces Public Schools. "They help students gain a realistic understanding of the nature of education and the role of the teacher."

The New Mexico Future Educators of America State Conference will be held in New Mexico State's Corbett Center Student Union from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19.

"We're excited to have these future teachers from across the state visit our campus," Morehead said. "As a college, we have been making access to our faculty and programs a priority. We will be available to students at the conference."

The conference will include essay, impromptu speaking, display and scrapbook contests. The keynote speaker will be Hanoch McCarty, co-author of the New York Times best selling book, "A Fourth Course of Chicken Soup for the Soul," which has sold more than 1.2 million copies.

For more information about the Pathway program or the conference, call Ferriman or Voegeli at (505) 527-6050.