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Helping Teachers Teach

Title V Grant Ensures UHD’s Significant Impact on Local Students


By Hayden Bergman

Since the earliest days of Western culture, education has been thought of as a kind of pursuit. For the student, it requires yearning, a desire to know not just things, but to understand them, and to understand their essence (understanding is, after all, transferable—mere knowledge is not). Of course, education requires that the student have a teacher, a caring person dedicated to assisting them in their journey, someone who creates a space where students can tap into their innate abilities to learn, grow, and, ultimately, succeed.  

Look around the Houston area, and you’ll see that there are plenty of yearning students eager to take their journey, but not enough teachers.  

It is this gap, then, that UHD seeks to fill through the Pathways to Teaching in Critical Areas of Need (PTCAN) Program. Thanks to the recent receipt of a U.S. Department of Education Title V Grant for $2,588,121 over five years, UHD can further produce educators in key and underserved areas in the Houston area and continue to improve the Houston workforce and economy for generations to come. 

As a way to ensure student success, PTCAN will increase graduation and retention rates by meeting the holistic needs of students while they are enrolled at UHD. The program will also continue to serve the Houston community by placing highly qualified (and certified) teachers who reflect student demographics. The project was investigated by Dr. Elizabeth Stackhouse, Assistant Professor of Bilingual Education, Department of Urban Education, and Dr. Ron Beebe, Professor & Chair of Urban Education, Department of Urban Education. 

President Blanchard praised the program and the work it will accomplish, saying that PTCAN will "continue to advance our goals of student success through meeting their basic needs and removing barriers that stand between them and degree completion. This grant also increases UHD’s standing as an anchor institution for Houston, as it will prepare us collectively to better serve our community in critical areas of need.” 

Specifically, this grant will assist prospective teachers via individual tutoring services, emotional well-being resources, and financial assistance with basic needs such as housing, food, and transportation. With these needs met, UHD students can focus on the important work at hand: helping Houston youths on their journey toward understanding, success, and self-realization.

About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.

U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.