District Announces Partnership with Two Local Universities to Launch Para2Teacher Program
PITTSBURGH February 4, 2020 – Following a request for proposals from 89 Pennsylvania colleges and universities, Superintendent Anthony Hamlet, Ed.D., announced the Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS) selected two university partners to support its Para2Teacher Program. The program, developed to create a sustainable pipeline of paraprofessionals prepared to meet the needs of students in the classroom, will launch in partnership with Carlow University and Point Park University this August. The Board is anticipated to vote on the new partners at its March 25 Legislative Meeting.
“We are excited to announce that our Para2Teacher program will move forward with two well established local universities – Carlow and Point Park”, said Superintendent Anthony Hamlet Ed.D. “This partnership will support our efforts to increase the diversity of our teacher workforce through growing our own – those paraprofessionals who already work to support our students every day.”
The Para2Teacher program provides PPS paraprofessionals the opportunity to complete a two-year master’s degree program while remaining employed by the District. Through this new partnership, paraprofessionals will be able to select either a fully-online program (Point Park) or a hybrid program (Carlow). Participating paraprofessionals will receive their full salaries while enrolled in the program, tuition assistance, test prep assistance and preferential hiring. The application window will open next month.
The District’s Expect Great Things Strategic Plan requires PPS “to develop and broaden [its] teacher pipeline and recruitment efforts to yield a diverse, culturally competent, and effective workforce.” The Para2Teacher Program is designed to increase the diversity of the teacher workforce in PPS by developing an internal pipeline of paraprofessionals prepared to enter its classrooms as teachers.