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on November 12, 2015 at 7:38 AM, updated November 12, 2015 at 8:51 AM
During 2014-15, only 81 new teachers earned an Oregon teaching license in those specialties. The Salem-Keizer district alone needed to hire 79 more bilingual teachers this year.
Dónde encontraran a todos los maestros?
Western Oregon University, that's where. In partnership with three large school districts, Western has created a special program to encourage high school graduates who read and speak both Spanish and English to become bilingual teachers.
Already, 45 young Oregonians from Salem, Hillsboro and Monmouth are on that path as freshmen at Western, with plans to graduate in 2019 as fully credentialed bilingual teachers. As part of the program, they are guaranteed a job interview in their home school district.
"These students are critical to meet the high demand that exists today and will continue to grow," Perry said.
Western's program offers entering freshmen who are proficient in Spanish and English scholarships and extra pre-professional support to encourage them to pursue a teaching career. They get mentoring, guaranteed summer jobs as classroom tutors and extra academic support if they want it.
The vast majority of the first group of students are from Spanish-speaking families and learned academic English and academic Spanish at school, said Western's dean of education, Mark Girod. Many of them are also first-generation college students, he said.
A few are native English speakers who learned Spanish very well during high school and will continue to develop Spanish expertise while in college, Girod said.
So far, the program is only offered to graduates from the three sponsoring school districts. Western's associate provost, David McDonald, said other school districts with the same need for bilingual teachers want to join in. Western would first need to raise more money to pay for the scholarships, he said.
-- Betsy Hammond