SAN MARCOS, TEXAS — The United States Department of Education has awarded Southwest Texas State University’s bilingual education program $1 million to continue its preparation of bilingual education teachers. The award is in addition to another $1 million grant currently in the final year of a five-year period, also from the Department of Education.
Carlos Rodriguez, director of the bilingual education program, explained that the new grant, which totals $1,033,306 over a five-year period, is set to begin disbursement Oct. 1.
Rodriguez said the money will be used to “try to meet an unmet need for bilingual teachers locally, in the state of Texas and nationally.”
He explained that the grant will allow 30 students, each year for five years, to enter the program at no cost. The grant funds will pay for tuition, fees and offer a stipend to students wanting to study bilingual education.
“These funds will allow students to come into the program and stay in the program,” Rodriguez said. “At the same time we are preparing these students, we will be developing a curriculum to ensure they receive the best training in bilingual education.”
Students receiving their certification in bilingual education will have the opportunity to teach in both a bilingual education classroom and a regular classroom, which in some districts can translate into a higher salary or bonuses. In addition to the training students will receive at SWT, Lockhart ISD, New Braunfels ISD and San Marcos ISD have coordinated with the university to assist in the program by offering training facilities and supervision of the students.
Rodriguez, who has been a member of the SWT faculty for more than 29 years, is retiring this year; however, the grant program will be administered by Nancy Ramos Machail, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction at SWT.
SWT has hosted a bilingual education program since 1969. The program is now actively seeking students who would like to participate in the program and be considered for the grant assistance beginning in spring semester 2001. For more information, please contact Ramos Machail at the bilingual education office at (512) 245-3078 or (512) 245-3109.