W.K. Kellogg Foundation grant for $525,000 will help UNT Dallas address shortage of qualified bilingual teachers

Dallas, Texas (September 8, 2017) – The University of North Texas at Dallas’ innovative school of education, known as the Emerging Teacher Institute (ETI), has been awarded funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) to create solutions designed to alleviate the shortage of bilingual teachers in Dallas. Dallas ISD, as an example, typically has 300 annual openings for bilingual teachers and this new initiative, funded through the WKKF grant, will address the shortage through ETI’s innovative and targeted recruiting efforts.

“Our University and our Emerging Teacher Institute are dedicated to serving the community and there is a crisis in Dallas when it comes to educating our diverse population of young people – we simply do not have enough talented bilingual teacher candidates in North Texas,” said Dr. John Gasko, Dean of Education for UNT Dallas. “On behalf of ETI, UNT Dallas leadership, and our partners in local schools, I say thank you to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for helping us address this crisis through the recruitment and development of talented students though ETI. Bilingual teachers are critical to sustaining the high quality of life and economic prosperity our region has enjoyed over the last several years and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation clearly shares our belief that teaching is a noble, community-service profession that’s critical to DFW.”

ETI’s efforts to address the bilingual teacher shortage will focus on building one of Dallas’ highest-quality teacher pipelines—or superhighways—over the next two-years, focusing on service to DISD and other high-need North Texas school districts. ETI will recruit the very best bilingual education teacher candidates in order to eventually serve two-thirds of Dallas’ ongoing shortage of bilingual teachers. Funding generously provided by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation will allow ETI to develop and implement a targeted recruitment and outreach strategy to begin enrolling exceptional teacher candidates immediately. ETI will partner with local public schools, community colleges, and community-based organizations, in order to pair its marketing efforts with top-rate, on-the-ground, bilingual parent, student, and community liaisons – all focused on creating a “call to teach” among Dallas communities and neighborhoods with dense Hispanic populations.

“When we have teachers in the classroom who reflect the communities they teach, children have a better opportunity to succeed in school and in life,” said Jon-Paul Bianchi, program officer at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. “We are excited to see how ETI’s vision to bring bilingual, culturally competent and diverse teachers will help improve outcomes for the children of North Texas.”  

ETI equips its students with the teaching and leadership competencies they need to be effective educators and provides substantial real-world practice opportunities to ensure its graduates are ready to create uncommon achievement for the students they serve. In addition, ETI focuses on developing the social and emotional learning skills of its students so they have the capacity to remain resilient in the face of any adversity they encounter as a teacher, while also instilling the importance of social and emotional skills in their own students.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.

The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti.

About UNT Dallas
The University of North Texas at Dallas empowers students, transforms lives and strengthens communities. Perched on a hilltop, overlooking the Downtown Dallas skyline, UNT Dallas is the only public, accredited 4-year university in the City of Dallas. UNT Dallas includes the UNT Dallas College of Law in Downtown Dallas and is part of the UNT System.

Paul Corliss
Interim Associate Vice President
Marketing & Communications
University of North Texas at Dallas
972.338.1097 or paul.corliss@untsystem.edu