UNLV’s College of Education is pleased to celebrate 60 new graduates from the Paraprofessional Pathways Project (PPP) who received their bachelor’s degrees at this week's commencement ceremony.
The students, who were all working at Clark County School District schools, began the program in January of this year. Thanks to an aggressive academic schedule, they each completed the final 60-68 required credits they needed to earn their undergraduate degree, pursue licensing, and secure classrooms of their own. Thanks to state grant funding, most students are graduating and entering the profession without the heavy burden of student debt.
Another cohort of 59 students are slated to graduate in May and program organizers have invited 130 applicants to join the program in the spring.
“Although our state grant funds will only cover this latest group, we have substantial interest to continue the program,” notes Kelsey Claus, communications, outreach and engagement coordinator for NVForward, which supports the Nevada Educator Preparation Institute and Collaborative (NV-EPIC). More than 75 candidates have inquired about a fourth cohort, which would require additional funding.
In addition to the Paraprofessional Pathways Project, the college offers an accelerated alternate route to license (A-ARL) program for individuals who have bachelor’s degrees in non-education fields to complete the required coursework to obtain a teaching license and eventually a master’s degree. Unlike the college’s traditional two-year ARL program, the accelerated path guides candidates through the required coursework in only one year. Applications for the program will open in mid-January and program coordinators expect that most of the 600 prospective educators will apply.