Stephen F. Austin State University’s James I. Perkins College of Education has partnered with the Lufkin School District to staff up to 10 paid, one-semester internships.

Sponsorships of new programs like these internships are examples of the willingness SFA and its partners have to adapt to changes in education, according to Michelle Miller, SFA clinical experience coordinator.

“Partnerships like this continue to show how the field of education is growing and changing,” Miller said. “Incentives like the ones offered by Lufkin ISD will continue to grow our educator program here at SFA while building teacher candidate pools for the district. By providing opportunities for paid clinical teaching to our students, they can focus on what is truly important — becoming the best educators they can be. This initiative will show future educators they are valued.”

The partnership with LISD is similar to SFA’s partnership with Huntington Independent School District, where three paid internships begin this fall.

Kurt Stephens, LISD deputy superintendent, sees a big upside for the program.

“At Lufkin ISD, we want to competitively recruit the best educators in training by offering a paid internship. When looking at other career options such as engineering and accounting, paid internships are the norm. We want educators to have the same opportunities as other students entering the work field,” he said.

“We not only place our student teachers at the top of our applicant pool when filling vacancies, but we also believe we have an obligation to encourage future educators to pursue student teaching in completing their degree,” he said. “Another bonus is this internship includes benefits, meaning interns will start contributing to the Teacher Retirement System prior to graduation.”

“We appreciate the quality student teacher candidates that come from Stephen F. Austin State University, and we look forward to partnering with the university in investing in future teachers,” he said.

The 10 new internships will be paid for by LISD and are set to begin this fall.