Louisiana BESE approves new training pathway for students


(Photo:Louisiana Department of Education)

BATON ROUGE, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Louisiana high school students who aspire to become educators now have options for customized curriculums that will help them get there, thanks to a new pathway approved by the state board of education Wednesday.

According to a press release from the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, The University of Louisiana at Monroe played a pivotal role in the creation of the pathway that will serve as the credentialing authority for students.

The Pre-Educator Pathway is part of the state’s nationally recognized Jump Start career and technical education program offering two curriculums.

“We are hopeful the newly-approved pathway will elevate the education profession as a career option for our young people,” said State Superintendent John White. “We also hope it builds a pipeline to fulfill the state’s need for diverse, capable, 21st Century educators.”

High school students who enroll in the training pathway will gain approximately 30-40 hours of practicum experience in the field to help them discover the K-12 teaching environment. The curriculum will include a combination of classroom observation and assistance. Their pathway work may culminate in various regional and statewide credentials that will help position them for postsecondary success.

“We are proud to offer this pathway for high school students who have an interest in serving their communities through the teaching profession,” said Amy Weems, Assistant Professor of ULM’S School of Education.

For high school students who are seeking a TOPS University Diploma and plan to become a certified teacher, the Pre-Educator Pathway will guide them toward becoming accomplished educators, starting in high school and extending through college and into the profession. Students who complete the pathway in high school and build on that foundation while in college will be prepared to ultimately pass required Louisiana teacher certification exams and master the General Teacher Competencies required for teacher certification in Louisiana. 

“This pathway was built through strong partnerships with our local school districts, and we look forward to helping those districts to train their best and brightest high school students who will return to serve future generations. It is the very best example of how ‘grow your own’ initiatives can exponentially improve the quality of education we can offer to our students to better our communities.”

Amy Weems, Assistant Professor of ULM’S School of Education

Students who are seeking a Jump Start TOPS Tech Career Diploma and who plan to enter the education profession through a position outside of certified teaching, the Pre-Educator Pathway can open the door for them to take on various roles, such as childcare worker, school system cybersecurity analyst, paraprofessional, professional tutor or substitute teacher.

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