Proyecto Maestría Collaborative Programs

Proyecto Maestría Collaborative for Teacher Leadership in Bilingual and ESL Education is a project that began in 2008 with a National Professional Development grant from the U.S. Dept of Education, Office of English Language Acquisition and reflects a long-standing partnership between U.T. Austin, College of Education and Austin Independent School District. Its goals are to improve the quality and increase the quantity of highly skilled Bilingual and ESL teachers in the Austin metroplex, to promote teacher retention, and to improve the educational outcome for the region’s growing population of English Language Learners.

While the five-year federal grant allowed us to provide scholarships to qualified teachers to attend UT, unfortunately, we currently do not have scholarship support.

Proyecto Maestría Special Master's Program

Proyecto Maestría Special Master's Program provides a pathway for current, bilingual-certified teachers with classroom teaching experience from the Austin area to pursue a Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction: Bilingual/Bicultural Education with a special emphasis on the specific concerns of teacher leadership. Our aim is to continually build upon the pool of qualified master teacher in the region in order to support our teacher education and professional development efforts. The cohort design provides participants with in-depth opportunities for building professional learning communities through positive and collaborative relationships with teacher peers from across local and surrounding school districts. Each year a cohort is assembled representing area schools. Students participate in specially designed coursework centered in their own elementary schools and classrooms to guide them in developing mentorship and leadership skills. Students develop a strong grounding in theory, policy, and practice of critical bilingual/bicultural education, as well as have the opportunity to explore their own particular and theoretical interests through coursework in the department of Curriculum and Instruction and beyond. If they so choose, they also have the opportunity to participate in classroom-based research in collaboration with UT Professors. Graduates of Proyecto Maestría have remained involved in our program in the capacity of cooperating teachers, hosts, guest speakers and assistant instructors in our teacher education program. They have engaged with our professors in conference presentations and publications, and have worked in their districts as mentor teachers, resource teachers, and professional development presenters. The strength of this program is our ongoing commitment to maintaining a strong connection to the practice and realities of teaching in the elementary bilingual classroom.

Bilingual/ESL Summer Institute (BESI)

Please Note: at present, the BESI program is ON HOLD awaiting funding support. There are opportunities to seek ESL training and preparation during the summer at UT, but these are individual courses, rather than an organized cohort program.

Our Bilingual/ESL Summer Institute (BESI) provides preparation for teachers seeking bilingual or ESL certification and/or professional development to better serve ELL students, as well as administrators who are interested in supporting the work of bilingual/ESL teachers on their campuses. The summer institute aims to increase and advance the number of Bilingual Education and English as a Second Language (ESL) certified teachers in the Austin area. It provides graduate-level courses in Bilingual Education and ESL Education during an intensive summer session. Participants will earn up to 6 hours of graduate credit as non-degree-seeking students at U.T. Austin.

Benefits for participating teachers include:

  • Participate in graduate level courses
  • Earn up to 6 units toward a Master of Arts degree (teachers will apply separately to Master’s program)
  • Be better able to teach bilingual/ELL students
  • Count participation toward Professional Development hours