[Picture, from left to right: Taryn Marks, LSCO President Dr. Tom Johnson, Natalie Smith, Vidor ISD Superintendent Dr. Jay Killgo, Brooklyn Bushelle, LU President Dr. Jaime Taylor, Aaron Wright]

Local Educational Institutions “Grow Their Own” to Address Teacher Shortage

in Schools

Three local educational institutions put their minds together to combat teacher shortages by creating a pathway to success for paraprofessionals across our region.

Administrators from Vidor ISD, Lamar State College Orange, and Lamar University met today to celebrate a co-enrollment partnership that aims to bridge the gap for paraprofessionals who are eager to further their education. Through this program, a cohort of paraprofessionals employed by Vidor ISD enrolls in Lamar State College Orange’s Associate of Arts in Teaching program with courses being taught at Vidor ISD. The first cohort made up of Vidor ISD and Newton ISD employees, began their LSCO courses in Fall 2022 and will take their first Lamar University co-enrolled course in Summer 2023. This allows them to obtain a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies.

“Providing career-ready graduates for our community is a top priority and Lamar University is dedicated to truly understanding what our local workforce needs. The partnership with Lamar State College Orange and Vidor ISD is an excellent example of how collaboration can work to create a sustainable workforce for Southeast Texas. We look forward to providing support ensuring student success and watching this program grow,” said Dr. Jaime Taylor, President of Lamar University.

“As we all know, the demand for qualified teachers in our state is at an all-time high. We are thrilled to establish this partnership with Lamar University and Vidor ISD to produce more teachers to address this shortfall. These bright students will no doubt have a lasting impact in our community and in making a vibrant, Talent Strong Texas moving forward,” said Dr. Tom Johnson, President of Lamar State College Orange.

“Vidor ISD is excited to work with Lamar State College Orange and Lamar University to bring this next generation of teachers to our profession. This collaborative effort has provided a tremendous opportunity for recent graduates to pursue a career in a field they love while working at Vidor ISD as instructional aides. We look forward to continuing to grow this program for our community and bringing the best and brightest into the field of education,” said Dr. Jay Killgo, Superintendent of Vidor Independent School District.

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