ANDREWS – Andrews Independent School District is proud to announce the launch of the AISD-XTO Energy Teachers Academy. In partnership with Andrews ISD, Odessa College and Sul Ross University, XTO Energy, a subsidiary of Exxon Mobil Corporation, is funding the new program in Andrews to help address the teacher shortage in the Permian Basin. The socially distanced event is only open to the media and will have representatives from each entity, as well as students, to answer questions and present the new program.
“This marks the first of many partnerships we hope to forge moving forward,” Dr. Jonathan Fuentes, executive dean of academic partnerships said. “It is rare that you see three educational entities partner for a common goal to help their communities, and we are very happy to be a part of this one.”
The new Teachers Academy will allow Andrews ISD students to complete an associate degree through Odessa College while they are still attending high school. After obtaining the associate degree, students then take courses from Sul Ross University to earn their education degree. This program allows students to obtain a teaching certificate in 12-24 months after high school graduation.
“We are excited to offer this new program not only our students, but also to our district,” Andrews ISD Superintendent Dr. Bobby Azam said. “Part of this program offers the student a three-year teaching contract once they graduate. It is a win-win for our community.”
Another component of this program is that students do not have to travel to earn their associates or their bachelor’s degree. The ability to remain in Andrews to earn both degrees can eliminate the added expense to students for room and board.
“Sul Ross is thrilled to be able to assist in providing a four-year degree to these students,” Dr. Barbara Tucker, dean of college education, said. “This partnership has allowed us to streamline the courses offered to students in order to achieve this degree at this speed.”
“XTO could not be happier to help find new, innovative ways to address the teacher shortage we have experienced in the Permian Basin the last several years,” XTO Energy production manager Enrique Garcia said. “Our workforce is dependent on the quality of education offered in our area, and this partnership is one small way we can make a difference together.”