In addition to being a full-time teacher in a Houston area school, a prospective Fellow must meet the following requirements:
- Complete an application
- Get principal sponsorship
- Plan to integrate curriculum unit into courses the year following participation
Benefits for Fellows
- 32 hours of Gifted and Talented certification (may also be applied to non-G/T professional development hours)
- $1,000 honorarium
- full membership in the University of Houston community for the duration of the program, including access to libraries, computers, and other facilities
- the opportunity to work closely and extensively with a senior faculty member of the University
- the chance to increase subject matter skills in the teacher's field of interest
- publication of original curriculum unit with lesson plans, to be shared with teachers around the world
- the pleasure of meeting once a week for stimulating conversation with fellow educators with like academic interests
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Houston Teachers Institute?
What kind of seminars are offered and how are they chosen?
What are the requirements of the program?
How does HTI participation count toward certification?
Is there any cost to participate in a seminar?
When will I receive the honorarium?
Where and when do seminars meet?
How does the application process work?
The Houston Teachers Institute is a professional development program sponsored by the University of Houston, the Houston Independent School District, and participating schools in the Houston area. Our 14-week academic seminars, offered every spring, are content-based and change every year according to the needs of participating schools.
Seminar topics are selected annually based on a survey of teachers from the Institute's participating schools. Past seminars have covered such varied topics as cell biology, African history, American politics, the ethics of science, world mythology, and many more. Our seminar topics are selected to appeal to teachers of all levels, and our Fellows have had great success in adapting the material to the special needs of their students. The seminar model affords Fellows a high level of control over their next year's curriculum, and Fellows enjoy the chance to exercise creativity in preparing lesson plans for their classrooms.
For more about our seminar model, please visit our Seminar Activities section.What are the requirements of the program?
In addition to attending the opening convocation and all seminar meetings, Fellows should fully engage in seminars by keeping up with the readings and sharing the progress of their ongoing research on some particular facet of the broader topic of their seminars. Fellows are expected to meet due dates in preparing a 15-20 page curriculum unit consistent with the Institute's guidelines. Lastly, they must submit an evaluation of the program along with the final copy of their unit. In order to receive the $1,000 honorarium, Fellows must continue teaching in the school district of sponsorship. Fellows agree to teach the units they develop in their classrooms the year following their participation.
Teachers receive 32 hours—12 in "Creativity and Instructional Strategies," and 20 in "Differentiated Curriculum"—toward the 45 hours required for Gifted and Talented certification. If you have already satisfied the requirement in these areas, you may want to apply these hours as part or all of the 15 additional clock hours needed. These 15 hours may be in any of the core areas.
The Houston Teachers Institute sends official certificates of participation documenting the hours of classroom involvement to all who successfully complete the program; these certificates may be used to help satisfy other professional development requirements.
Although HTI is free to Fellows, schools are asked to pay $1,500 per participating teacher to cover the cost of the honorarium and help defray the stipends of teacher representatives and the seminar leaders. Because most of the fee goes to pay you, the teacher, HTI remains a great value for your school. Fees can be paid using Title I, II, or III funds earmarked for professional development for teachers.
Fellows who successfully complete their seminars and curriculum units are awarded a $1,000 honorarium in the fall following their participation. Because principals agree to sponsor a Fellow with the understanding that the Fellow will be developing his or her curriculum for the next school year, if a Fellow chooses to leave the sponsoring school district the $1,000 honorarium will be credited back to the Fellow's school of sponsorship to be used toward future HTI participation.
All seminars meet in The Honors College at the University of Houston. Each seminar meets weekly from 5:30-7:30 PM on either a Monday or Tuesday.
After reviewing our upcoming seminar offerings and selecting the seminar in which you would like to participate, you may obtain an application here on our website or at our Open House in October. In addition to completing all forms, you must include a brief essay of 250-500 words explaining how the proposed seminar is relevant to your teaching and describing how you might incorporate the topic into your lesson plans. Applicants are requested to have a second and third choice seminar, in the event that an applicant's first choice seminar is full or is not sufficiently enrolled. Every effort is made to ensure that teachers are placed into their first choice seminars.
Completed applications must be approved by a teacher's principal before being forwarded to the Institute. Once a teacher has obtained principal sponsorship verifying that the applicant will work on a topic consistent with the school's curriculum and that the school will pay the $1,500 participation fee, the application should be forwarded to the Institute via fax, mail, or e-mail. An admissions committee consisting of the director of the Institute and experienced HTI Fellows will make a decision by early January. This year we have rolling admissions through January 15.