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Sep 27, 2021

Panhandle State Communications

Educator Preparation Program at Panhandle State

Oklahoma Panhandle State University is one of twenty-three Oklahoma Universities to have an Educator Preparation Program. This Paid Student Teaching Initiative is supported by the Oklahoma State Department of Education by investing federal relief dollars to compensate pre-service teachers for their work as student teachers in K-12 classrooms. The program will equitably fund Oklahoma student teachers annually, beginning in school year 2021-22 and continuing through school year 2023-24.

The purpose of the Paid Student Teaching initiative is to help support student teachers financially as they engage in their 12-week internship in a K-12 school. Following their internship, in an effort to retain teachers in the state of Oklahoma, individuals who secure a contract to teach in an Oklahoma accredited school will receive a second payment. The goal of this initiative is to help address the teacher shortage in Oklahoma.

University President, Dr. Tim Faltyn stated, “This initiative is exactly what our region needs to better serve our students while they are student teaching. We are constantly trying to be better for the people we serve, and we know that educators are in high demand.”

In addition to the Educator Preparation Program, OPSU also has a “gap funding” scholarship called the Panhandle Promise Scholarship. It addresses the desperate need for highly trained educators in the panhandle public school district’s classrooms. The Panhandle Promise Scholarship removes the financial barrier and offers incentive for local residents to pursue classroom teacher degrees In exchange for a two-year commitment for teach in an Oklahoma panhandle public school.

Panhandle State was also ranked number eight in the West South Central Region Most Affordable Teaching Certificate Bachelor Degrees in Oklahoma.

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