Midland College’s new Pre-K Academy nears completion

Published: Jul. 21, 2023 at 5:38 PM CDT
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MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) -Midland College’s new Pre-K Academy is a month away from opening, but it could take years to solve the shortage of teachers in the area.

The new facility opens the door for students to work and go to school for early childhood education at the same time.

Midland College has already hired 10 certified teachers for this academy, and the following year, they plan to add an additional six.

With the goal being to extend more classes each year.

Midland ISD services around 1,000 Pre-K students, out of the 26,000 they have.

Meanwhile, Midland College’s current program allows less than 70 Pre-K students and doesn’t require many teachers.

However, this new facility could solve the issues for both a lack of childhood education and teacher shortages in the area.

“So we’re hoping to add 200 this year, and then next year add an additional 100. So there’s a definite need for more seats to educate our young 3′s and 4′s.” said the Executive Director of Childhood Education at Midland College, Leslie Goodrum.

Goodrum says that construction has gone well and that they’ve received over 500 applicants for their program.

Workforce Solutions CEO, Willie Taylor mentions that teacher shortages aren’t just a issue in West Texas, but also around the nation.

“We need to continue to promote our region, bring people in, not to live in man camps, but to become a part of our community.” said the CEO of Workforce Solutions, Willie Taylor.

Taylor says he likes what the local schools like UTPB, Odessa and Midland college are doing to further education.

However, he says that students may not want to work in education in an area dominated by oil and gas.

“The oil and gas industry is the leading employer in the Permian Basin. And you know some of those jobs are paying six digits and so it’s clearly a choice.” said Taylor.

The new facility also brings more comfort to parents with security.

The way this building is designed, it has state of the art security, and teachers and administrators have visual access to what all the children are doing at all times.

The construction of the new facility is going as planned and they expect for it to be complete by August 22.