matthew flippen

Addressing Teacher Shortages in Texas

Matthew Flippen, President, Hartwell University
Matthew Flippen is the President and Founder at Hartwell University. The mission of Hartwell University is to prepare competent compassionate educators equipped to positively impact the lives of children from a biblical worldview through innovative, transformative, and affordable higher education. He hopes to empower the 1.2 million non-certified staff already working in our school systems through their programs.

Project Description:

There is a crisis in education: 3 million U.S. children are sitting in over 250,000 classrooms without a qualified teacher. What if we filled these vacancies with teacher’s that love Jesus, love kids, and reflect biblical values? A majority (65%) of new teachers are entering education through alternative certification paths after leaving a career unrelated to education (Texas Education Agency). Typically, these paths do not provide significant education, coaching and mentoring. As a result, the turnover among these unprepared teachers is over 60% within 2 years of becoming teachers, hurting our children, schools and communities (Texas Education Agency).

Hartwell University is rapidly addressing this teacher shortage by preparing paraprofessionals through their programs. We have an opportunity to shine a light into this felt need. This initiative will seed a movement to solve the problem of under- resourced teacher shortages in Texas. This group will develop a robust network to mobilize paraprofessionals (85,000) into 35,000 new teacher roles in Texas every year.

Who is involved? Who else needs to be involved?
1. Educators, Superintendents, Paraprofessional ambassadors
2. State and local leaders passionate about education
3. Leaders with exponential growth and scale experience

Project Goals:

1. Attract a diverse stake holder group of partners, organizations, and leaders to connect in launching an initiative.
2. Engage with state officials, local representatives, and educational stake holders to identify needs and solutions
3. Develop a sustainable strategy to scale Hartwell’s solution to teacher shortages as a proof of concept for Texas and beyond.

Project metrics:

• Clear understanding of gaps and resource needs.
• Collaboration and engagement among the network of institutions and stakeholders in taking actionable steps to solve teacher shortages.
• Engage with 100 school districts in Texas to be a district partner in the nomination of paraprofessionals in their schools.

If you want more information or would like to volunteer, please contact our volunteer team lead, Matthew Flippen at