A local teaching program with a long list of successful graduates is now expanding into the Tri-Cities.
YAKIMA, WA - A local teaching program with a long list of successful graduates is now expanding into the Tri-Cities.
Two elementary schools in Richland, Marcus Whitman and Jefferson, will be taking in student teachers from Heritage University in the fall.
This is in partnership with a Heritage University and ESD 105 program called "Heritage 105."
The program started in 2010 thanks to a $9 million grant from the US Department of Education.
Program coordinators said 100 students are currently enrolled and they spend three to four semesters as teachers in local elementary schools, including Yakima, Toppenish and Grandview.
Coordinators said they noticed a number of students coming from the Tri-Cities for placement and are happy to soon make things more convenient for them.
"Instead of driving and adding an 1 1/2-2 hour commute each day to come into a classroom in the Upper Yakima Valley, now they can be placed right in one of the two schools that we're partnering with in the Richland School District," said Mark Cheney, the Co-Director of Heritage 105.
Cheney said 97 percent of the program's graduates got teaching jobs in the region. He said with the addition of two schools, they're also admitting more students into the program bringing enrollment up to 120 students next fall.