Prosper Waco is committed to ensuring classroom teachers mirror the diversity of their student populations. In order to employ a diverse teacher workforce, teacher preparation programs must recruit and provide equitable access and high-quality programming for teacher candidates.
At a time when many school districts struggle to fill vacant positions, Waco is fortunate to have five teacher preparation programs. Cultivating and growing local talent into professional educators will be a critical priority as Greater Waco districts respond to the ever-growing demand for more high quality teachers.
Many teachers today are pursuing alternative teacher certification rather than completing traditional teaching programs. Teacher candidates need equitable, high-quality preparation both prior to and during their first year in the classroom. Prosper Waco is committed to improving and sustaining high-quality alternative pathways.
College Access in McLennan County
K-12 to Post-Secondary
Education builds a community by helping its youngest members develop into productive and engaged adults. A high school diploma signifies basic education and is critical to adult thriving. Post-secondary education or training enables residents to expand their economic opportunities. In McLennan County, high school graduation rates are not what they should be, and data by race reveals alarming gaps between groups. Bachelor’s degree attainment is below the state average, and racial discrepancies are pronounced.
Workforce & Unemployment
The 16-24 age group is called Opportunity Youth. They are on the cusp of a lifetime contribution to their community, but a high percentage are unemployed. This means they are not yet contributing to the workforce, but it also presents challenges to the community because of lost taxes and increased social costs.
The mission of UpSkill Waco is to serve as an intermediary between our education and workforce partners. Our goal is to increase the collective impact of our partners by ensuring businesses have the skilled workers they need and individuals are able to earn family-sustaining wages.
Through collaboration with our partners, we work to increase flexible and accessible skills training, credential attainment, and job placement support in high demand occupations. We focus on unemployed/underemployed individuals and Opportunity Youth ages 18-24.
Each training location is intentionally selected in underserved neighborhoods to meet people where they are. In addition to providing credentials with labor market value, each training course provides the holistic, individualized coaching and support needed to help participants successfully find and keep employment.