Education in Southern Nevada and the entire country is facing a crisis. Since the start of the pandemic, districts have faced significant teacher shortages, making teacher-to-student ratios exceptionally high, forcing substitutes to take on long-term assignments, and shifting administrative support staff from the front office to the classroom. We are committed to doing our part to address these challenges in education.

While the College of Education is working with southern Nevada’s schools to address immediate needs, we are working to create a better and more stable future through the Student Success Initiative (SSI), which focuses on encouraging prospective teachers to pursue their bachelor’s degree and supporting them throughout their journeys.

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These efforts are centered on three programs:

Dual Enrollment

UNLV’s dual enrollment program allows high school students to take university-level courses. They simultaneously earn credits toward both their high school diploma and bachelor’s degree in education. In addition to the course tuition, students are responsible for books, materials, and fees. These costs are a barrier for some students with a significant number of underserved students from diverse backgrounds.

The Student Success Initiative will support stipends to assist these students in their efforts to get an affordable head-start on an education degree and teaching career.

Paraprofessional Pathways Program

The Clark County School District’s paraprofessionals, including classroom aides and support staff, are vital contributors to education, but do not have the bachelor’s degree or license required to become a teacher. Paraprofessionals also present a significant opportunity to increase the diversity of CCSD’s teacher population.

In the Paraprofessional Pathways Program, housed in the college’s National Institute for the Advancement of Education, students will receive credit for past coursework and earn student teaching credit for the classroom work they are doing as paraprofessionals.

The Student Success Initiative helps subsidize tuition, books, and/or fees for these students as they complete their path from paraprofessionals to fully-licensed educators.

Cross the Finish Line Grants

In order to complete bachelor’s degree and licensing requirements, prospective teachers are required to take at least one semester of student teaching, which is a full-time, unpaid position. Most of our college’s future teachers are working 20 or more hours a week to support themselves and their families while they pursue their education. For many of these students, juggling student teaching and outside work is not feasible, nor is quitting their jobs for a semester while they complete the requirement. Some prospective teachers opt for other academic paths to avoid this financial strain and miss out on a rewarding career in education.

The Student Success Initiative will support the Cross the Finish Line grant program, which provides a stipend to qualifying students to help cover income losses while they complete their student teaching requirement.

Contribute to the Student Success Initiative and other programs within the College of Education.