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Cal State LA Awarded $7 Million Grant to Train Teachers for High-Need Schools

Published on Monday, October 30, 2023 | 4:00 am

The Pasadena Unified School District will receive part of a $7 million grant from the federal Department of Education awarded to Cal State LA to train new teachers for high-need urban schools and “continue the success of the university’s Los Angeles Urban Teacher Residency program,” university officials announced.

Other community-based organizations that will receive training include A Place Called Home, InnerCity Struggle, Young & Healthy and WestEd. Pogram participants will also include East Los Angeles and Rio Hondo colleges along with the Los Angeles Unified School Districts.

The five-year grant will train 276 community-centered teachers for special education, secondary STEM and bilingual instruction.

This is the third time the college has received this grant through the department’s Teacher Quality Partnership Program.

“This grant provides Cal State LA the opportunity to ground the education of the teachers in the communities in which they will teach,” said A. Dee Williams, interim associate dean and professor of curriculum and instruction in the university’s College of Education.

“[The residency program aims] to equip future mathematics, science, bilingual and special education teachers in implementing the curriculum and instruction creatively and effectively in the lives of the students while connecting to state standards.”

Since 2009, the program has prepared 12 groups of graduates who are currently teaching in high-need California schools.

Under the newly formed Community Collaborative, the residency program will combine a full academic year classroom apprenticeship with credential coursework that will be overseen by a project management team comprised of faculty, district and community partners.

The community partners will also bring a social justice perspective by assisting in the creation and teaching of courses and leading community-based experiences focused on advocacy, equity and family support, university officials said.

Resident trainees will spend the full academic year in an urban public school, developing under the guidance of an experienced mentor teacher.

They will earn their credentials at the end of the 10-month residency and then join school districts as first-year teachers.

Officials said the new community collaboration will impact both the undergraduate Integrated Teacher Education Programs, which leads to both a bachelor’s degree and a preliminary teaching credential, and the post-graduate-level credential program at Cal State LA.

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