Developed and administered by SMU’s Simmons School, Project CONNECT (Creating the Ongoing Network Needed to Engage Communities and Teachers) brings together teachers, students, families, and community partners for a full school year.
Our participants receive over $4000 of scholarship tuition to strengthen the net for bilingual and multi-lingual children who are learning English in our local Dallas schools. Each year, CONNECT teachers learn about instruction, culture, language, and community by becoming part of a wide web of resources.
Pre-service and in-service teachers connect weekly with non-profit community partners — this year with Heart House in Vickery Meadows and the Wesley Rankin Community Center in West Dallas.
Together with the supportive staff, SMU professors, and one another, teachers build relationships with children and families every week in hands-on lessons and mentorship.
We invite you to explore our site with its numerous videos of teaching ideas created by our teachers!
Learn how you can earn a scholarship to become part of Project CONNECT!
Project CONNECT is funded by the Department of Education, Office of English Language Acquisition, Grant T365Z160106

Apply For Scholarships!

Are you interested in free classes at the SMU Simmons School of Education?

Join the next Project CONNECT Team of Teachers to earn over $4,000 of scholarship money while earning your ESL Certification! Full-Tuition scholarships for 6 graduate credits (2 courses) are available.

Do I Qualify?

YES—if. . . 

You are a practicing teacher committed to high-quality instruction for English Language Learners AND

You currently do not have Texas ESL certification

OR you are a pre-service teacher enrolled in one of these programs: Masters with Certification, Hunt Residency, or Community Scholars Programs.

What Is It?

  • Full-Tuition scholarship for 2 English as a Second Language (ESL) certification courses worth up to $4,000!
  • Certification exam prep and fees covered.
  • Course delivery is face-to-face course with online support materials.
  • Graduate courses are offered for students who commit to 2 consecutive terms (fall and spring):
    • Fall 2018 and Spring 2019
    • Fall 2019 and Spring 2020

How Do I Apply?

For more application information and for info session schedules, please contact Priscilla Blackburn at plara@smu.edu or (214).768.3711.

Contact Us

Please reach out to any of us! We look forward to connecting with you!

Priscilla Lara Blackburn (Project Director)

Contact: plara@smu.edu

(214) 768 – 3711 office

Paige Ware (a lead researcher and Professor)

Contact: pware@smu.edu

Brenna Rivas (Program and Assessment Coordinator)

Contact: brivas@smu.edu

Nancy Montgomery (a lead instructor and Clinical Associate Professor)

Contact: nmontgomery@smu.edu

Jillian Conry (a doctoral candidate and instructor with Project CONNECT)

Contact: jconry@smu.edu

Sumei Wu (a doctoral candidate and curriculum developer for Project CONNECT)

Contact: sumeiw@smu.edu

Ann Marie (a doctoral candidate and curriculum developer with Project CONNECT)

Contact: awernick@smu.edu