(DALLAS – March 30) The Tom Joyner Foundation and Paul Quinn College have partnered to increase the number of elementary school teachers with a STEM focus as part of the Teacher Quality Initiative (TQI).
The goal of the partnership is to increase the pool of strong teacher education graduates that will teach in the Dallas Independent School District. The partnership will be formally announced at a press conference at 10 a.m., April 15 in the Flag Room at Dallas City Hall, 1500 Marilla Street, Dallas, Texas.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, Tom Joyner, founder and chairman of the Tom Joyner Foundation, Thomas E. Joyner, Jr., the Foundation’s president and CEO, Michael Sorrell, president of Paul Quinn College, Lew Blackburn, board member, Dallas Independent School Board and State Sen. Royce West are scheduled to attend.
“As I’ve talked to administrators at school districts around the country, they have constantly complained about the need for more students to pursue a career in teaching, particularly those who have expertise in STEM areas,” said Thomas Joyner, Jr., the Foundation’s president and CEO. “This program is designed to get more students into teaching careers with partners who are eager to find and develop them.”
Paul Quinn’s Michael Sorrell added, “Paul Quinn College has always been deeply committed to the students and families of the city of Dallas. Working with the Tom Joyner Foundation to help address the need for outstanding teachers in every child’s classroom is yet another example of this focus. With this Teacher Quality Initiative, Dallas is taking yet another step towards ensuring that all of her children are college-ready by the end of their high school career.”
The program provides a scholarship for undergraduate students preparing to become elementary school teachers with a strong STEM focus eight semesters of full tuition and fees scholarships. Students will follow a pre-designed sequence of courses for this program, and work as AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) tutors during the academic year. Most of the teacher education courses are designed using a 1/2 model (one hour of in-class learning each week and two hours of in-class practicum, practicing what has been learned during class discussions).
Joyner added, “We are also working with other entities to provide some awesome summer seminars designed to enhance their knowledge in a variety of STEM areas each summer.”
Interested students can apply for the scholarship at TomJoynerFoundation.org/tqi. If students are selected to receive the scholarship, they receive 1) Full tuition and fees for seven semesters at designated colleges; 2) Free summer seminars with master teachers using state of the art education technology; 3) Free online licensure preparation exercises and materials; 4) Summer internship opportunities; 4) Job placement upon completion of the program.
The students must meet the following criteria: 1) Be graduating high school seniors or students in their first semester at Tarrant County College or Travis County College; 2) Be a biology or math major; 3) Have a 3.0 or better grade point average.
Representatives from school districts interested in learning more about the program can contact, Thomas Joyner Jr., president and CEO of the Tom Joyner Foundation, at firstname.lastname@example.org, 972.789.1058.