A Class Act for the Tri-Cities
HU105 expands to Pasco School District
Heritage’s unique HU105 teacher preparation program is expanding into the Tri-Cities. Starting this fall, Heritage will have education majors earning their degrees by teaching at Marcus Whitman Elementary and Jefferson Elementary in the Richland School District.
HU105 is a joint project between Heritage and Educational Service District (ESD) 105 in Yakima. It trains undergraduate and graduate students to become teachers by placing them directly in elementary and middle school classrooms. The candidates work in teams of three alongside a certified core teacher. By the time the students graduate, they will have a one and a half years to two years of teaching experience, making them highly sought after by Washington public schools. Over 97% of the program’s 2012-13 graduates are working as classroom teachers.
The HU105 program began in 2010 with a cohort of 32 undergraduate and graduate students and two partnering school districts. With the program’s expansion into the Tri-Cities, the number of enrolled students is expected to top 120 candidates in five districts. That number, according to Co-director Mark Cheney at ESD 105, could still grow.
“The size of the program is really dictated by the number of candidates,” he said. “We have lots of core teachers who are interested in having HU105 students working in their classrooms.”
On top of expanding its geographic reach, HU105 will have a new endorsement option added to the English Language Learner endorsement that was already in place. Now, new students can also receive training that will qualify them for a special education endorsement.
“The preparation of special education teachers is a high priority and necessary to meet district needs,” said Dr. Corrine McGuigan, HU105 co-director at Heritage University.
The move into the Tri-Cities came at the direct request from the Richland School District, which cited the program’s success at training future educators and building a better learning environment for K-12 students.
“HU105 was recently cited as the most innovative teacher training program in the state by the Professional Education Standards Board,” said Erich Bolz, assistant superintendent for the Richland School District. “We are very excited to bring it to Richland. Not only will it be terrific for the classrooms that have HU105 candidates in them, but the teachers that graduate from the program are extremely talented and will likely stay in the district once they graduate.“
The first cohort of 21 graduate and undergraduate students will start the program in the Tri-Cities fall semester and will graduate in the 2015/16 academic year.