Gifts to the education department scholarship fund can help the department meet the shortage of special education and STEM teachers by offering financial assistance to paraprofessionals seeking degrees and licensure in these areas. The Washburn education department is dedicated to developing the best possible teachers for our pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students.
Currently, there is a shortage of teachers in many areas including special education and the STEM fields. Further, it is well known that many teachers do not stay in the profession long after they begin. With these facts in mind, we have developed the Paraprofessionals to Teachers Program. This program is designed to provide financial assistance and convenient programming for current paraprofessionals wishing to complete the degree requirements for licensure in one of these two areas. The choice to target paraprofessionals is based on the belief that these individuals are already working full time in the school setting and know what is expected of an educational professional. Consequently, we expect that they will remain in the profession beyond the currently-expected five years or less.
The PTP program is currently funded by a grant from the Kansas Board of Regents. However, this grant may not be funded after the current academic year. And, if the program is funded, we would like to be able to expand the program into an online/distance format to include paraprofessionals from districts that do not have access to colleges or universities in the immediate area. Currently, the program provides $650 per course for up to five courses in a year. Your gift to the education department scholarship fund can help provide this same assistance to additional students in the PTP program.