June 13, 2024

GCCC to Host a Signing Event with WSU TAP for Para Educator Pathway

(Courtesy of GCCC)

GARDEN CITY, Kan. — Garden City Community College will host a signing event in collaboration with Wichita State University, United School District 457, and United School District 363, on Tuesday, May 21 at 1:30 p.m. in the Endowment Room at GCCC.  The signing officially launches an innovative new partnership between the institutions that provides an educational pathway for Para Educators to become certified teachers while continuing their employment.
About WSU Teacher Apprentice Program (TAP) Agreement with GCCC, USD 457, and USD 363
A partnership project between Wichita State University, Garden City Community College, USD 457 and USD 363 will begin in the Summer of 2019.  The partnership will provide an educational pathway for current Para Educators in both school districts to continue full-time employment while concurrently taking evening and online classes with GCCC and WSU towards a bachelor’s degree in education.  This pathway to the WSU Teacher Apprentice Program, developed specifically for the partnership, allows paraprofessionals to complete their Online Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education/Elementary Education and become certified teachers within three and a half years.  Each of the students who take advantage of the opportunity will also receive an increase in pay each year while completing degree requirements. 
About the Kansas Department of Commerce Funding
Funding through the Department of Commerce has been approved for Para Educators at USD 457 who participate in the WSU TAP Pathway in partnership with GCCC, and that funding is currently being sought for USD 363 Para Educators as well.   The approved funding for USD 457 participants is a $3,000 per year award from the Department of Commerce to be used towards tuition costs.  This is the first of its kind partnership involving public and state entities in efforts to address the teacher shortage and crisis.   
Garden City Community College exists to produce positive contributors to the social and economic well-being of society.