Midland College officially opens Pre-K Academy

Recordings of the CBS7 News at 6 broadcast.
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 6:28 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) -This week, Midland College held a ribbon cutting ceremony for its newest development.

The Pre-K Academy and Center for Teaching Excellence, was made to benefit the teacher workforce in the Permian Basin.

This program went from being taught in four portable classrooms with 68 students.

To a two-story facility where the downstairs part has an academy, meanwhile the top floor has classrooms to teach Midland College students.

Classes began on August 23rd, and staff say that it’s been amazing so far.

“I love to see the four-year-olds, learn and grow, they’re little sponges and they’re eager. And this gets to be there first experience in school.” said Alaina Harris, one of the Pre-K teachers at the Midland College.

The goal of this facility is to prepare more people to get into teaching, by having an area where students can go from class to work by just climbing stairs.

“I am just excited about the students’ learning upstairs, they’re going to start coming downstairs and learn with us, with our students. We have three right now that are going to start their student teaching with us next semester.” said Lori Smith, the Principal of the Midland College Pre-K Academy.

With a shortage of teachers in the Permian Basin, this facility allows students to get bachelors and associates degrees toward childhood education.

“Being able to use the Pre-K Academy downstairs for a field experience, so they can get hands on experience right from the get-go is highly important.” said Dr. Denise Yorkman, the Dean of Education at Midland College.

The Pre-K Academy can fit 296 kids, but since they only have 10 teachers, they aren’t able to go full time.

“We have the applicants in the student side, we just need more teachers to take those students in.” said Smith.

They currently have 185 students and need more teachers to be considered full.

However, staff members believe the combination of having classes for Pre-K and college students in one building may be the solution to teacher shortages.

“The most beneficial part of learning is hands on. Seeing and doing. You can write a paper, you can read a book, but the most beneficial is being and seeing and doing with the littles.” said Harris.

Principal Smith said that if you are interested in signing up to be a part of the Pre-K Academy, there are still six spots available. If you want more information on how you can sign up, click here.