Teachers, Future Educators Converge at SUPCE to Focus on Educational Challenges, Learning Opportunities

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The College of Education and Human Development at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi continues to work toward solutions to the complex causes that have contributed to teacher shortage across the state. The topic was one of the key discussion points at the 2022 School and University Partnership Conference of Education (SUPCE), an annual event hosted by the college since 2015.

The conference, held Oct. 1, drew nearly 300 participants, including future educators (clinical teachers or teacher candidates), and K-12 educators. The event was the work of the SUPCE planning committee, which featured external members from independent school districts including Flour Bluff, Corpus Christi, West Oso, and Gregory-Portland, and is chaired by Dr. Carmen Tejeda-Delgado, TAMU-CC Professor and Director of the Transformative Alliances for Student Success (TASS).

“One of the main focuses of the conference is how we will continue to love and sustain those we are trying to bring into the profession as well as those who are already in it,” Tejeda-Delgado said. “We have to provide teachers and incoming teachers the support they need and are asking for.”

SUPCE 2022 featured numerous TAMU-CC faculty-led breakout sessions on topics like retention, literacy, technology, STEM concepts, leadership, mentoring, and more.

There’s so many aspects and fields in education, and it’s great to be able to interact with potential colleagues whose ultimate focus is student growth, their development, and in helping them be successful in life.

Alumna Danielle Patterson ’09, ’22 and current doctoral student in the TAMU-CC Counselor Education program

Danielle Patterson ’09, ’22, a doctoral student in the TAMU-CC Counselor Education program, said the opportunity to interact with so many professionals in the educational field is what prompted her to attend SUPCE.

“It is amazing to have this collaboration and to learn from diagnosticians, school counselors, administrators, and superintendents,” Patterson said. “There’s so many aspects and fields in education, and it’s great to be able to interact with potential colleagues whose ultimate focus is student growth, their development, and in helping them be successful in life.”

Interdisciplinary Studies major Dayanis Santana ’22 was one of the future educators who attended the conference. Santana’s area of concentration is 4th through 8th grade math.

“I’m looking to build relationships and find new tools that I can add to my toolbox,” Santana said. “I’d like to get access to a lot more resources and be introduced to more things that we can use in the classroom.” 

The conference also featured poster sessions, roundtable discussions, and a panel discussion called “Transformative Partnerships Take a Village to Achieve.”

“During the panel discussion, each district had a chance to articulate how they are supporting, loving, and sustaining their teachers. It was a true testament to the hard work that is being conducted out there, and the laser focus we have on elevating the profession of teaching,” Tejeda-Delgado said. 

The event’s guest speaker was Kathryn Clark Childers, a renowned author and one of the first five female U.S. Secret Service agents.

Tejeda-Delgado said Childers’ message of “doing it scared” resonated deeply with the conference attendees.

“A lot has happened in the last decade that has impacted how teaching is viewed, but I also think we sometimes focus more on what is not going right and less on the myriad of things that are going well,” Tejeda-Delgado said. “The keynote address helped remind us all that although sometimes we’re scared to do something, especially something we feel so passionately about, we should not let fear keep us from doing it.”

Dr. Frank Lucido, a longtime TAMU-CC Professor of Bilingual Education/ESL/Multicultural Education and co-founder of SUPCE, said conferences like SUPCE help teachers to continue the learning process throughout their careers.

“Educators never stop learning. We are continuously learning just like we hope our students will be,” Lucido said. “We want to make sure that we prepare teachers who are prepared to work with students no matter who they are and what level of learning they are at so that they can meet their needs to become educated.”

Learn more about SUPCE at supce.tamucc.edu.