Frequently Asked Questions

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Below you will find answers to some frequently asked questions. If you have a question you don’t see here, please email

What are the proposal formatting and length requirements? Are appendices acceptable?

Please upload your proposal as a single word document or PDF in size 12 font. There are no page limits or page requirements. Proposals may be as long as needed to clearly outline how the IHE is currently addressing the goals specified in the RFP and/or the future actions the IHE plans to take to incorporate the goals. Raise Your Hand will follow up with questions as necessary if additional information is needed. You are welcome to include appendices if you feel the information will help Raise Your Hand better understand the components of the program.

The IHE has many teacher preparation programs. Should we submit one proposal?

If the IHE has multiple unique programs, the decision of whether to have each program apply separately or to send in one unified application is yours. As you consider the question, think about whether each of the programs meets the goals specified in the RFP, or is interested in implementing aligned changes. Our aim is to develop a relationship with university programs committed to the program goals as outlined in the RFP, that will attract high-quality teaching candidates, and are interested in working within the RTT community of practice to improve the profession. We are open to selecting multiple programs from one IHE.

Should we provide the syllabus for each class in each program?

The goal of requesting syllabuses is for Raise Your Hand to gain an understanding of the material covered in each course and how well the overall course of study aligns with the values in the RFP. If you feel you can demonstrate this without providing syllabuses–for example, by providing course descriptions and objectives–that is also acceptable. You may want to include a few syllabuses from classes you feel are exemplars of your program or that address the areas in the RFP particularly well.

Can the IHE use some of the funds to pay a faculty member for being program leader?

Yes, The IHE can use the $10,000 or 15% of the awards as a stipend for the program leader. The program leader is the person at the IHE who will have the majority of the extra tasks associated with participation in Raising Texas Teachers. However, Raise Your Hand recognizes IHEs have different administrative structures, so the final decision for how to use the funds up to the IHE.

Could you clarify the number of students per IHE you will include?

Raise Your Hand intends to support approximately 100 Charles Butt scholars statewide in the first year, and add about 100 each year until there are 400-450 scholarship recipients each year.

Raise Your Hand would like to create a meaningful cohort at each partner university to allow students to have a sense of community within their IHE, and realize the appropriate size of the cohort may vary based on the size of the IHE. We have set 10 Charles Butt scholars per institution as a guideline, but we are open to supporting more or fewer students in any individual program, based on the number of qualifying applicants the IHE nominates.

Could you further explain how Raise Your Hand intends to use student data for evaluation?

IHEs would not be requested to track the performance of scholarship participant’s students for evaluation purposes; rather, they will be required to provide Raise Your Hand with information on graduates that will allow Raise Your Hand to connect graduates to the students they teach.

Raise Your Hand may eventually attempt to evaluate the impact of our scholars on student achievement using data housed at the education research centers and will do so in a way that maintains student confidentiality and presents results only if they are valid and reliable.

In section 3H, are you referring to financial or programmatic support?

This section refers to programmatic support provided to students while enrolled in the preparation program, and, if applicable, support provided following graduation. for example, advising or mentorship students receive from the IHE, academic support such as a writing center or tutoring, etc.

What kinds of programs are you looking for?

Raise Your Hand is seeking programs that are currently addressing, or plan to address, the criteria outlined in the RFP. Additionally, Raise Your Hand is looking for programs that can become thought partners on how to improve teacher preparation and how to encourage high quality students to enter the teaching profession.

Are post-baccalaureate or Masters of Arts in Teaching programs eligible?

Yes, post-baccalaureate and Masters routes are eligible. Raising Texas Teachers is open to any type of program that meets the criteria set out in the RFP. Regardless of the type of program, Raise Your Hand is looking to partner with programs that ensure teacher candidates have meaningful clinical experiences under the supervision of an effective supervising teacher, and receive strong instruction in academic content, before they become teacher of record in their own classroom.

How does Raise Your Hand Texas define a competency-based program and what evidence will you look for?

When referring to competency-based programs, Raise Your Hand Texas means programs which have clearly defined the competencies and skills teacher candidates must be proficient in before they graduate, and have clear metrics for measuring proficiency. Additionally, strong competency-based programs will provide teacher candidates with multiple opportunities to demonstrate proficiency in the practice of teaching, and provide feedback and support to help them do so.

Raise Your Hand recognizes IHEs will not be uniform in the competencies and measurement tools they use but would like an explanation of how your program ensures teacher candidates who have met proficiency standards can be effective teachers as soon as they graduate and enter the classroom as teachers of record.

Evidence of a strong competency-based model could include the rubrics the program uses, the proficiency levels expected of teacher candidates, the observation or feedback protocols used to assess teacher candidates and/or a description of the support provided to teacher candidates to help them achieve proficiency.

Does the clinical experience need to be in the same school or just same district for the duration of the program?

Raise Your Hand acknowledges IHEs will structure clinical experiences differently. As long as the program provides teacher candidates with quality clinical experiences through collaboration with public schools, Raise Your Hand is neutral as to whether it takes place at one site or multiple sites.

Does the program leader have to be the one who submits the proposal?

It is up to the IHE who submits the proposal, however, when the proposal is submitted through the submission portal the name and contact information for the program leader will need to be included. Raise Your Hand will contact the program leader directly with any follow-up questions and to schedule the interview. The program leader should be involved in writing the proposal as they will be the Raise Your Hand’s primary contact . The program leader should be someone who has significant responsibility for teacher preparation in the university, who is interested in working within the community of practice to improve preparation statewide around the core program goals specified in the RFP, and who can ensure that student support is provided.

How does Raise Your Hand Texas define a strong clinical model and what evidence will you look for?

From Raise Your Hand’s perspective, a strong clinical model is one in which teacher candidates have ample exposure to the work of being a teacher as well as the opportunity to practice and perfect pedagogical skills before they graduate. The goal is for new teachers to be prepared and empowered to be highly effective as soon as they enter the classroom.

In looking at IHE proposals, Raise Your Hand would like to to see a system in which teacher candidates have the opportunity to begin engaging in classrooms early in their educational careers, and take on more and more responsibility for planning and delivering lessons as their education progresses, while receiving feedback and guidance from their mentor teacher and IHE faculty.

The IHE has been working toward creating a program that aligns with the sections of the RFP, but some areas are still a work in progress. Should we apply?

Yes, IHEs that are actively working to implement program elements in alignment with the RFP are eligible, and they are encouraged to apply. Raise Your Hand is looking to work with programs that are thoughtful about the steps necessary to continuously improve their preparation programs and that are committed to making these changes. In your proposal, outline the concrete steps and timeline for changes the program(s) plan to take to enact the elements outlined in the RFP. Raise Your Hand will also look for evidence the IHE has a strong system in place to gather feedback from stakeholders and use it to drive improvement.

Are there any indirect costs to institutions in processing the tuition grants?

Raise Your Hand does not anticipate any indirect costs. However, Raise Your Hand will provide the IHE with the greater of $10,000 or 15% of the student scholarship awards to offset any costs of providing student supports and assisting Raise Your Hand with the implementation of the program on campus. The IHE may use these funds as it wishes.
Raise Your Hand will provide grant funding for the scholarships and the IHE will be required to disburse the funds to selected Charles Butt scholars through the current financial aid system.

Any travel to Raising Texas Teachers required events will be paid for by Raise Your Hand.

Should the institution begin the interviewing process with students in June automatically, or will your organization contact us and direct us to begin that next step?

No, IHEs should not begin the scholarship interview process. Raise Your Hand will work with the partner IHEs to develop the selection process which will begin in late fall 2017. Students will receive the first scholarship payment in fall 2018.

Many of the small schools in our area have a difficult time attracting EC-6 teachers, these schools qualify as ‘high need schools,’ and would students on an EC-6 path be eligible for the scholarship?

Yes, students studying to become EC-6 teachers would be eligible to apply for the scholarship.  By “high needs schools” Raise Your Hand means schools that have difficulty attracting and retaining high-quality teachers. When reviewing IHE proposals, Raise Your Hand will look for evidence the IHE has strong partnerships with the local schools and that the IHE is sensitive to their staffing needs.

How are you defining a "high-needs Texas public school"?

By “high needs schools” Raise Your Hand means schools that have difficulty attracting and retaining high-quality teachers. When reviewing IHE proposals, Raise Your Hand will look for evidence the IHE has strong partnerships with the local schools and that the IHE is sensitive to their staffing needs.

By high-needs subject areas, Raise Your Hand is referring to the State of Texas teacher shortage areas, which are available at the TEA website.

A teacher can teach in either a high-needs school or a high-need subject area.

Is there a specified length that they must remain in the classroom teaching after graduation?

No, there is no specified length a scholarship recipient must remain in the classroom upon graduation. Raise Your Hand wants to provide the scholarships to students who see teaching in high needs schools and/or subject areas as a lifelong career. Raise Your Hand will rely on the IHE to identify these students, and the application process will be designed, in part, to assess student’s commitment. Scholars will be required to sign an agreement clarifying that by accepting the scholarship, they intend to pursue a career in teaching.

Is there a financial obligation for students who do not pursue a teaching career in Texas?

No, there is currently no financial repayment requirement. When submitting scholarship applicants to Raise Your Hand, IHEs should take into account the student’s’ commitment to teaching. Raise Your Hand would like to support students who view teaching as a lifelong career and will work with the IHE to select these students. Scholars will be required to sign an agreement clarifying that by accepting the scholarship, they intend to pursue a career in teaching. Raise Your Hand will use teacher retention in Texas schools as one of the indicators of program success.

Is there a definition of "clinical skill" the Charles Butt Scholars would need to show to remain eligible for the scholarship?

Raise Your Hand looks to partner with IHEs which have a strong clinical model, and will work with the partner IHEs to decide the best way to monitor student’s achievements in the clinical aspects of their preparation to determine whether or not a scholar has fulfilled the “strong record of clinical skill” requirement to maintain eligibility.

Do we need to include an external evaluator as part of the costs/plan?

IHEs should not include an external evaluator as part of their proposal. Raise Your Hand will be responsible for the cost of any evaluations associated with Raising Texas Teachers. In evaluating the IHE’s continued participation in Raising Texas Teachers, Raise Your Hand will assess how successful implementation has been at each IHE as measured by scholar success in college, scholar participation in RTT activities, and ultimately, success as teachers in the classroom. Raise Your Hand will gather much of this data through the Texas Education Agency and the State Board for Educator Certification, and through the state’s education research centers. Raise Your Hand will require IHE cooperation in sharing information that will allow evaluators to identify Charles Butt scholars in existing state data.  Raise Your Hand may conduct additional survey and interview work as necessary. Raise Your Hand will also look at the IHE’s continuing commitment, and progress toward, implementing program components in line with the RFP criteria.

Should the IHE provide a budget for the funding of the greater of $10,000 or 15% of the scholarship awards?

No, IHEs should not provide a budget as part of their proposal. The IHE will have the freedom to use these funds as they see fit.

Raise Your Hand’s goal in providing the additional funding of the greater of $10,000 or 15% of the IHE’s scholarship funding to cover any costs the IHE might incur in supporting scholars. The purpose of providing these funds as a percentage of the total scholarship funding is to acknowledge that the more scholars at each IHE, the higher the costs to the IHE of supporting scholars.

Do we need to include a detailed total budget in the project narrative?

No, a total project budget will not be required for either the student support funds or the scholarships. Instead, please provide an estimate of how many students you anticipate would qualify and how many years of support they would be eligible for in the proposal.  The amount of the grant given to each IHE for scholarships will be based on the number of students who are selected by Raise Your Hand to be Charles Butt Scholars.

Can the IHE choose to target a particular population of teacher candidates (e.g. transfer students)?

It is entirely up to the IHE whether or not to target a particular population of teacher candidates with these funds. Regardless of whether or not a certain population is targeted, the goal of the scholarship is to attract high-quality students who would not have otherwise become teachers into the teaching profession. In the proposal, please describe how the scholarships will be used to attract these students.