This weekend during PBS NewsHour, Austin’s oldest university is beginning a new chapter in its 140 year history.
Huston-Tillotson University will launch its first ever Master’s program in January. The degree is a Master’s in Educational Leadership with a principal certification. Principals in Texas are required to have Master’s degrees but most program offer the certification separately. Dr. Ruth Kane, Department of Educator Preparation Department Chair, said the program prepares graduates to fill a void in school administrations in our region.
“Research says that it’s important that students have a person who is their teacher or administrator or their counselor or even their librarian that looks like them, who they have an easier time relating to,” Dr. Kane said. “We have many wonderful Anglo principals out there but they can’t be everything to African-American and Hispanic students.”
Corey Wiggins, a 6th grade English Language Arts teacher at Kealing Middle School, is hoping to join the program in January. He’s been teaching for three years and said he does think students would benefit from more African-American or Hispanic principals in area schools.
“I think that just having that awareness of knowing how certain things work in certain families based on socioeconomic background and things like that, it really makes a really big impact,” Wiggins said.
The program is four semesters and is designed for working teachers.
This story airs Sunday evening at 6:30pm during PBS NewsHour Weekend.