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UTRGV Ranks Among Highest in Texas for Teacher Production, Retention

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) is among the top universities to produce the largest number of teachers in Texas, and has among the highest retention rates, according to the 2020 Performance Analysis for Colleges of Education (PACE) study.

The study’s results are from research generated at the University of Houston’s Center for Research, Evaluation, & Advancement of Teacher Education (CREATE).

“Retention of novice teachers in the profession is a very important measure of success for teacher preparation programs given the huge numbers of teachers that leave the profession every year contributing to the tremendous teacher shortage in the state,” said Alma Rodriguez, dean of the UTRGV College of Education and P-16 Integration.

The PACE report also shows that graduates from the UTRGV teacher preparation program have a 91%, 5-year retention rate in the teaching profession. The rate was calculated through a five-year study (from 2015 to 2019) of first-year teachers who graduated from the different educator preparation programs in the state of Texas.

“Through this report, we are able to track the retention of our graduates in their jobs,” Rodriguez said. “Very large numbers of teachers leave the profession every year, contributing to the tremendous teacher shortage in Texas. Our UTRGV graduates’ retention in the profession is off the charts and continues to be a point of pride for our educator preparation program.”

The graduates who started as first-year teachers in 2016 have continued to work in local school districts through 2020.

“Our graduates are evidently very committed to the communities they serve as teachers,” Rodriguez said.

High success in teacher retention indicates that graduates not only find a job quickly, but that they are fully prepared to go out into the workforce, she said, and to that end, the UTRGV teacher preparation program provides teacher candidates with quality coursework and the needed skills to enter the profession job-ready.

“This is a reflection of the hard work of the faculty to ensure we have a quality teacher preparation program,” Rodriguez said. “Our faculty focuses on the continuous improvement of our programs by looking at our performance data and responding with improvements.”

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