How Houston Innovatively Addresses the Teacher Workforce Challenge

The headlines are hard to miss. Teachers, and the fate of their profession, are under great strain.

Houston’s teacher workforce faces a supply and demand challenge. 11,600 teachers are needed annually – yet only one third are certified in our region each year. More teachers are needed to serve Greater Houston’s 1.2 million students, and in a region marked by business and industry innovation, important opportunities exist to rethink pathways into the teaching profession. 

We’ve witnessed grantees collaborate with partners to test new models and approaches, and we are proud to support their work.

A Promising Partnership

Brazosport ISD partners with Brazosport College and INSPIRE TEXAS | Educator Preparation by Region 4, to offer a Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP). The RAP supports teacher candidates entering the profession by providing critical on-the-job training where they can earn compensation and learn under the guidance of an experienced mentor teacher. Candidates in the program have a high likelihood of completing the program well-prepared to lead a classroom.

BISD’s teacher apprenticeships provide four on-ramps to meet apprentices where they are in their education and certification journey. These on-ramps are provided to four cohorts:  high school students enrolled in dual credit courses, individuals who have completed hours towards an associate’s degree, those who have earned an associate’s degree, and those with a bachelor’s degree.

RAPs exist to remove barriers preventing candidates from becoming high-impact teachers. They provide on-the-job training and tuition assistance to minimize candidates’ economic limitations and broaden the teacher pipeline.

Individuals enrolled in the program shared their enthusiasm about RAP. One stated, “This opportunity feels like a second chance to be successful at something I’m passionate about,” while another noted the crucial aspect of community support and expressed, “The fact that I can stay in my community and give back to the community that’s trying to help me out means a lot.”

This inspired approach is a bright spot that seeks to provide high-impact teacher preparation from start to finish.

Our Support of Teacher Prep Programs

Houston Endowment has been deeply committed to education since our founding in 1937.

We believe teachers are critically important and aim to strengthen the pipeline of well-prepared and supported teachers. By working collaboratively, Brazosport ISD, Brazosport College, and Region 4 exhibit the innovation needed to prepare outstanding teachers and transform talent management practices for Greater Houston. Our region needs – and deserves – more organizations to share in the ingenuity to drive the teaching profession forward.

Houston Endowment intends to expand our support for efforts such as these so that more great teachers can meet the needs of our children. As a private foundation, we fund innovation and support non-traditional pathways that allow our partners to nimbly test new ideas to create meaningful change and expand opportunity for all.

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