Partnerships to Recruit and Prepare Bilingual Teachers


  • Julie Esparza Brown Portland State University


Higher Education, School Partnerships, Bilingual Teachers


To address the need for teachers with the skills to effectively teach English Language Learner (ELL) students, Portland State University (PSU) collaborated with three Portland area community colleges and 17 school districts to develop a program to recruit and prepare bilinguallbicultural teachers. This nine-year-old program provides a career ladder for education paraprofessionals. Candidates begin their work at the community colleges or at the upper division or graduate levels at PSU depending upon their backgrounds. This article describes the program, assessment of the program, and lessons learned. To date, over 190 candidates have completed the program and 99 percent have been employed in partner school districts. Candidates, university faculty, and school district leaders express great satisfaction with the program, but they offer several suggestions for program refinement.