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Posted: 5/27/20

TAMIU College of Ed, Education Service Center 1 Partner to Offer Free Online Professional Development


Dr. James O'Meara, Dean, College of Education
Dr. James O'Meara, Dean, College of Education  

This Spring, the COVID-19 pandemic and need for social distancing disrupted classrooms and schools for teachers and students everywhere. 

But this summer, Texas A&M International University’s (TAMIU’S) College of Education wants to help teachers and University students resiliently reclaim and recover with a special, free online professional development opportunity.

Dubbed the “Summer of Sanford,”  it is offered through a partnership between TAMIU’s College of Education and Education Service Center 1.  It will be available from July 6 to August 21 and  will use the nationally recognized Sanford Inspire and Harmony Programs. 

Dr. Darlene Rogers, Director, Region 1 Education Service Center Laredo Office, said the partnership comes at a time of great challenge for teachers and students.

“During this time of unprecedented disruptions in  classrooms and schools, ESC 1 is partnering with TAMIU to serve educators, students, and parents by providing this cutting-edge professional development,” Dr. Rogers said. 

TAMIU College of Education Dean Dr. James O’Meara concurred, noting the TAMIU-Education Service Center 1 partnership has the potential to have broad impact.

“Education Service Center 1 encompasses a sprawling part of Texas from Laredo to Brownsville, encompassing some 38 school districts and over 27,000 teachers and 300+ teacher candidates…so this summer opportunity for online professional development can truly have broad impact,” Dr. O’Meara explained.

Through the “Summer of Sanford,” teachers and university students studying to become teachers can earn up to 45 clock hours of professional development, all aligned to Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System (T-TESS) standards.

TAMIU College of Education assistant professor of Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Cody J. Perry will lead the seven-week interactive distance course. It will include online discussions, independent engagement with Sanford modules, and the creation of lesson plans and classroom activities. Course modules consist of planning, innovative instruction, learning environment, and professional practices and responsibilities.

“Teachers in the program can choose one of three levels of participation: recognized, exemplary, and master. This allows teachers to choose the amount of work that fits with their schedule and individual professional development needs. All participants will receive a certificate and proof of clock hours applicable to license renewal,” Dr. Perry explained. 

Those interested in being a part of  TAMIU’s Summer of Sanford can visit to register,  call Dr. Perry at 956.326.1938, or email

The Sanford Inspire and Harmony Programs were created  by entrepreneur and philanthropist T. Deny Sanford to  inspire students to embrace learning and find their path in life. Sanford hopes to foster teaching and learning that changes lives for children in positive ways and transforms communities, he has said.

As part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, TAMIU’s campus is closed only to the general public. Entry to campus continues for students, faculty, staff and those having legitimate reasons to be on campus. Online and virtual services at the University continue, practicing all CDC Guidelines on gathering, masking and social distancing and with most staff working remotely.  Office hours are subject to change and it is recommended that phone or email contact be made first to determine the office’s schedule of operation.   An online directory is here.

The University’s dedicated COVID-19 website is updated regularly and includes information on office schedules and services, an expansive FAQ, quick links, student resources, official information resources and much more.