The University of North Texas at Dallas is one of 10 universities in Texas to be honored with an award from the Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation as part of a $50 million Raising Texas Teachers program that is designed to elevate the teaching profession. The investment in UNT Dallas is part of H-E-B Chairman and CEO Charles Butt's continued philanthropic commitment to public education in Texas and includes 20 full scholarships of $8,000, annually, for students of UNTD's Emerging Teacher Institute.

“Being selected as one of just 10 universities in Texas to be honored by Charles Butt and Raise Your Hand Texas is really a historic milestone for our young university, as we work to fulfill our mission to empower students, transform lives and strengthen communities,” said UNT Dallas President Bob Mong. “UNT Dallas will be awarded 20 full scholarships over the next four years to support two cycles of transfer students heading into the teacher preparation program of our Emerging Teacher Institute. Thank you to the Butt family and HEB for their support of education in Texas.”

Each teaching fellow from UNT Dallas will receive $8,000 per year as part of the Charles Butt Scholarship for Aspiring Teachers, as well as ongoing training and development opportunities, mentorship from sitting public school educators, and involvement in a statewide aspiring teachers network facilitated by Raise Your Hand. The program will expand over time to include leadership development opportunities for Texas’s top high school students interested in a career in education. Partner universities will also receive technical assistance support to improve the quality of teacher preparation in Texas.

“Research consistently shows that the strength of the teacher makes the biggest difference in influencing a student’s success,” said Charles Butt. “To improve academic achievement, it is critical that Texas elevate the status of the teaching profession, strengthen the existing pool of aspiring teachers, and inspire our most talented high school graduates to consider a career in teaching.”

UNT Dallas’ innovative school of education is known as the Emerging Teacher Institute (ETI). ETI is dedicated to preparing and equipping teachers and school leaders with uncommon learning experiences to become change-makers in their communities and transform the lives of young people and their families.

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 they are ready to create uncommon achievement for students. 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 adversity as they work in schools and provide the students they serve with similar skills.

According to the 2013 Global Teacher Status Index, the world’s highest performing students live in countries where teachers are well-qualified, well-trained and enjoy widespread respect in society. “No education system can be better than its teachers,” the report concluded. “Recruiting the brightest and best into teaching is a critical imperative in all nations, whatever their wealth or poverty.”

UNT Dallas and other partners were selected through a competitive RFP process based on their capacity and commitment to deliver competency-based clinical preparation and their willingness to establish strong collaborative relationships with districts where graduates teach. For more about the initiative and RFP process, visit: RaisingTexasTeachers.org.