San Diego State University announced Wednesday that it was awarded nearly $750,000 in state grants to fast-track the education of prospective teachers in order to reduce a shortage of educators in California.
The three grants will allow SDSU to create a program that will allow students to earn both their undergraduate degrees and teaching credentials within four years. The process usually takes five years.
“With the help of the grants from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, we will pursue the goal of providing better preparation in a shorter period of time,” said Joe Johnson, dean of the College of Education. “These grants will allow SDSU to play a substantial role in reducing teacher shortages, while also helping us maintain a leadership role in teacher education in California.”
Education officials think the extra year to earn a credential leads some students to pursue another career, partially causing a shortage that is nationwide in scope but worse in California.
In a fall survey conducted by the Learning Policy Institute, 75 percent of school districts in California reported having difficulty in hiring enough qualified teachers, and the figure rises for districts in low-income areas.
The California Teachers Association estimates that more than 100,000 teachers will need to be replaced over the next decade.
SDSU faculty will develop integrated teacher education programs for special education, math and science education and bilingual education programs. Those areas have seen the highest demand for new teachers in recent years, according to the school.
Lessons no longer required by the commission will be eliminated.
“We are proud that our nationally recognized education researchers received these significant grants from the state of California,” said SDSU President Elliot Hirshman. “These resources will help our faculty and staff develop innovative four-year teaching credential programs — programs that will, ultimately, support the recruitment of teachers and the excellence of our K-12 schools.”
The college plans to offer the four-year program for the first time in the fall 2018 semester. The traditional five-year track will be maintained to provide flexibility for students.
— City News Service
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