UNT bilingual education scholarship program helps reduce shortage of bilingual teachers

According to the Texas Education Agency, the state continues to face a critical shortage of bilingual education teachers, and the enrollment of English learners in Texas public schools continues to increase each year. The UNT College of Education’s Bilingual/ESL Teacher Education Programs are working to fill the state’s needs, with some help from Texas Rep. Roberto Rivera Alonzo.

Alonzo, who represents Dallas District 104, continued his advocacy efforts for bilingual education and teachers this legislative session. Thanks to his efforts, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board awarded UNT $107,142 this academic year to distribute among eligible students seeking certification in bilingual education. 

Most students will receive awards of $5,400 each.

To qualify, applicants have to be admitted to the teacher preparation program, meet a minimum 3.0 grade point average, have financial need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and have passing scores of the practice or actual Bilingual Target Language Proficiency Test.

“Providing financial assistance to 23 eligible bilingual teachers this year will help ensure that they complete the program, be prepared to serve English learners and their families and help narrow the supply/demand gap in our North Texas region,” said Rossana Boyd, director and principal lecturer of the Bilingual/ESL Teacher Education Programs at UNT.