Nevada Institute on Teaching & Educator Preparation (NITEP)

NITEP is a state-funded program designed to prepare fellows for success in a variety of educational settings, with a focus on the educational needs within the Las Vegas community. Our goal is to provide each NITEP Fellow with new and innovative experiences around education research, training, and preparation that go above and beyond what you receive in your pre-service coursework and practicum. As a result, you should be equipped to be a skilled practitioner and leader in K-12 education in Nevada.

Each NITEP fellow receives approximately 60 hours of enhanced learning opportunities each academic year to support their knowledge and skill development as an emerging educational leader. The NITEP program takes a multifocal approach, providing enhanced preparation of pre-service teachers through programming, community engagement, participation in research, and knowledge dissemination.


Investing in the intellectual curiosity, professional development, and long-term retention of community-focused, research-informed Nevada educators. 


For all Nevada educators to be community-focused, research-informed, and equipped with the knowledge and skills to effectively teach all Nevada students.

NITEP Program Components

The NITEP Fellowship program consists of three main components offered each semester of the program, as well as optional opportunities to participate on educational research projects with faculty.

Educational Engagement Pathways (EEPs)

Educational Engagement Pathways provide hands-on experiences with students, teachers, families and the community to ensure the NITEP fellows are prepared for the realities of 21st century educational delivery for diverse populations, particularly within southern Nevada.

Learn more about 2022-23 EEPs:

EEP 2 – MGM Tutoring Partnership

Lead by Dr. Heather Van Ness

In this educational engagement pathway, NITEP Fellows will participate in a tutoring partnership with MGM in which NITEP fellows will provide small group tutoring to the school-age children of interested MGM employees. The students will have an opportunity to receive educational support and the NITEP fellows will have an opportunity to enhance their instructional skills. NITEP Fellows are trained not only as leaders in the classroom and on campus, but also in the larger educational community. Understanding communities in which we work, building relationships with families and students, and engaging in community-embedded educational experiences is an integral part of the NITEP program. NITEP Fellows engage in one hour per week of small group virtual tutoring, supporting the diverse learning and social needs of MGM families. The small group virtual tutoring sessions are offered weekly, building a positive learning environment, on-going student monitoring, and differentiated instruction.

EEP 3 – ELAD/Chile

Lead by Dr. Sandra Candel

This EEP is a year-long international practicum with Colegio Concepcion San Pedro (CCSP), STEM-focused middle and high school committed to Spanish/English bilingual education. The CCSP community is ideal for gaining an international and comparative perspective on education while improving instructional skills. NITEP Fellows will be paired with a Chilean educator at CCSP to collaboratively engage and support CCSP students’ English comprehension within content areas. 

EEP 4 – Educator Mental Health

Lead by Drs. Heather Dahl and Wendy Hoskins

This EEP engages NITEP Fellows to develop increased awareness of their thoughts, feelings, and beliefs related to a career in education, and how these can impact their own professional development as an educator. Additionally, this EEP helps Fellows learn how to recognize and respond to the mental health needs of students and their families, which is imperative in a successful school system. NITEP Fellows will also engage in modules that focus on various mental health topics and how they relate to their own professional development and retention in the school setting. Topics including: career stress, risk factors, crisis, social-emotional well-being, and wellness strategies.

Professional Development

In an effort to provide future educators with experiences that help them continue their pursuit of knowledge, Fellows are offered professional development resources during and after their fellowships through the following mechanisms:

Educators LEAD Professional Development Days

Offered twice per semester, our Educators LEAD (Learn | Enrich | Advance | Develop) Professional Development days delve into critical topics in education. The goal of these sessions is to provide the NITEP fellows with opportunities to learn specific best practices in education you can utilize when you join the workforce as educators. Professional development training sessions will be provided by experts in the field of education, both from within and outside Nevada, and will be provided in collaboration with UNLV and community agencies, labs, and centers that focus on education and educational equity.

The theme of the professional development series this year is Multiple Ways of Knowing and Being. In light of an ever diversifying society, it is imperative that NITEP participants have the ability to work with students from various backgrounds. These sessions will highlight culturally competent practice in the areas of STEM and Literacy, as well as accounting for differences in language skills, mental health, and socio-emotional skills in the classroom.

All professional development training sessions will include guided discussions or break-out groups with local educators or community service providers to discuss implications of the covered educational practice or area within Nevada classrooms, schools, and the broader community.


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Community Engagement Pathways (CEPs)

Community Engagement Pathways are specially designed opportunities for NITEP fellows to engage in meaningful service learning. As a NITEP fellow, you are being trained not only to be a leader in the classroom, but also on the UNLV campus and within the larger Las Vegas community. Understanding the communities in which you will work, building relationships with families and students, and engaging in community-embedded service learning activities is an integral part of the NITEP learning experience. 

Research shows that when families, communities, and educators come together, K-12 students are more likely to succeed both academically and emotionally. With this in mind, each NITEP fellow will engage in one community engagement pathway throughout the academic year. Each community engagement pathway results in approximately 10 hours of engagement each semester . Exact dates and times are dependent on the community engagement pathway.

Five community engagement pathways will be offered in 2021-2022. NITEP fellows will be able to learn about all available pathway options and submit their preferences at the beginning of the Fall semester. Each NITEP fellow will then be assigned to a community engagement pathway based on their submitted preferences.

Learn more about the 2022-23 CEPs:

Homework Hotline

As a partnership with LIED Stem Academy Middle School, the Homework Hotline service-learning community engaged pathway is a direct support opportunity for children to engage with homework needs. Each fellow will have a weekly assigned time to be available in an online platform environment. Children will have access to come and receive targeted help for their homework.

Writing Buddies

A partnership with Girls Athletic Leadership School the Writing Buddies service-learning community engaged pathway is an e-Pen pal writing project with a small group of students (5-10). Fellows will write a weekly letter to each student and correspond as such. The writing will occur through an email approach and can vary throughout with questions, stories, and other mechanisms that encourage student engagement. The primary goal of e-Pen pal writing is to foster socio-relational support and student writing development.

Book Buddies

A partnership with Spread the Word Nevada, Books & Buddies is a Multi-Generational Reading Program developed to improve the reading and comprehension skills of children by partnering them with volunteers acting as reading companions. Working together, fellows will focus on improving the child’s reading proficiency, comprehension, and oral reading skills The fellow/mentor will provide these children with the much-needed individualized attention to enhance literacy efforts that are not readily available within the classroom and, unfortunately, are often absent from the child’s home environment.

Family Learning Workshops

A partnership with MGM Resorts International, Springs Preserve, and the UNLV preschool, the Family Learning Workshops community engaged pathway will consist of two, face-to-face workshops (one in the fall and one in the spring occurring in September or November, and March or April) offered to both facilitate parents supporting their children’s learning and to parents helping us as educators learn how to better understand and interact with families in supportive ways. Fellows will be placed in small groups to plan an interactive workshop with fellow peers designed to model interesting and/or novel ideas and technologies parents might use with their children at home. Audience will consist of parents and children ranging in age from PreK-12.

WOW Youth Led Group

A partnership with NV Partners, WOW is a youth-led group that meets monthly to advocate for social change related to local policy and governance. Fellows will attend monthly meetings and serve as thinking partners and engage in policy and advocacy work. Fellows will participate in WOW meetings and community events as thinking partners and advocates.

Optional Research Internship

NITEP fellows have the opportunity to gain experience conducting research on education that seeks to identify or validate unique, innovative, promising, or novel pedagogical practices or approaches for diverse learners. An application will be made available in the fall for fellows to apply to participate in one of several grant-funded research projects as a student researcher, conducting research as part of the research team. Accepted NITEP fellows will receive an additional $2,500 as well as mentorship by lead research faculty over the course of the year. Selected fellows are expected to commit to approximately 30 hours of work on their research project over the course of the academic year.