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May 16, 2022 LA GRANDE, Ore. The College of Education at Eastern Oregon University will host 3948 high school students from Hermiston, Milton Freewater, Ontario, Pendleton, and Umatilla as part of the Oregon Teacher Pathway (OTP) program.
The students and their teachers will be presenting their education research projects at the annual research symposium. During the Spring Symposium event, Wednesday, May 18, the students will meet with their university mentors, attend the keynote presentation, share their research and end the day with lunch with the EOU Board of Trustees.
The OTP was created in response to the need to increase the number of culturally and linguistically diverse and ethnic and linguistic minority teachers in eastern Oregon. OTP was funded by grants from the Oregon Department of Education and the Oregon Education Investment Board. OTP provides eastern Oregon with its first collective effort in recruiting, educating, and retaining both teachers of color and culturally and linguistically diverse teachers.
Based on research that shows that students of color who are exposed to teachers of color display higher levels of academic achievements, OTP is a “grow your own” program that works with ethnic high school students to begin discussing the teaching profession and train them in culturally responsive teaching to increase the chance that they will enter the field of education.
In the program, students earn pre-collegiate credit in teacher education, are required to do one-hour per week of field placement tutoring, and are mentored and trained by high school and university teachers. The program begins with training high school students in their junior and senior year by offering students a chance to take dual-credit courses in introduction to education and culturally responsive practices. Students also are involved in a one hour per week field experience tutoring with elementary school students. The year-long course is worth four college credits per year.
Students also have the opportunity to work with college professors and mentors, interact with leading scholars in the field of culturally responsive practice, conduct research on topics related to culturally responsive practice, and get an opportunity to visit EOU campus and attend a college course.
The goal of OTP is to increase the number of quality teachers of color and culturally and linguistically diverse teachers in Oregon public schools who are culturally responsive by creating a teacher pipeline starting with juniors in high school and assisting these students as they complete their degree and teacher licensure.
This is the fourth year of the program and EOU currently has 27 graduates of the high school portion of the program enrolled in the education program in La Grande. These students qualify for a tuition discount and in return they agree to become mentors for high school students in their home communities and fellow college students pursuing teacher education.
For more information on OTP visit http://www.eou.edu/otp.
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