In front of a packed house at El Centro College Tuesday, the University of North Texas at Dallas officially launched its partnership with El Centro for the Emerging Teacher Academy, primarily focusing on increasing the number of bilingual teachers in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.

“Right now, the school districts have to go all over the Spanish speaking world to find teachers for bilingual students,” said UNT Dallas President, Bob Mong. “Well, we can grow our own right here in Dallas County and plenty of people can benefit from that.”

The partnership will allow students to co-enroll between both institutions. Each student will first earn their associates degree at El Centro, followed by receiving their teaching degree from UNT Dallas.

“It is a great opportunity and definitely a win-win for students not only in terms of getting a career and also financially,” said El Centro College President, Jose Adames. “Here at El Centro, we only charge $59 a credit. So, it is a great opportunity if students have financial aid or who are eligible to be able to establish the foundations for a career.”      

For UNT Dallas, this partnership falls right in line with the already established Bilingual Education/ESL Teacher Program. Within the department, faculty possess instructional competencies, which prepare students to teach technical information in multiple languages.

“It’s really gratifying to find partners in the school district, perspective students who want to be a part of it and it helps UNT Dallas become a better community partner,” said Mong. “This is definitely a huge deal for us.”

For more information, visit UNTDallas.edu or ElCentroCollege.edu.