In response to the 2011 teacher lay-offs (mostly elementary teachers), CSULB teamed up with Long Beach Unified School District, the S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation, David & Lucille Packard Foundation and the South Bay Workforce Initiative Board to create a program to help the out-of-work veteran teachers earn a Foundational Credential in science or mathematics. The fully funded program provided the teachers with three content courses and a secondary subject matter methods course.
Candidates did lots of work outside of class. In addition, they did field work and taught in an after-school setting as part of their methods class. They wrote and field tested lessons, several of which ended up in a compilation of STEM activities. The edited collection of activities is available online (stem-activities.org). Future cohorts of students will write and field test additional lessons which will be added to the book.
The first cohort was quite successful with 85% of science candidates and more than 50% of math candidates earning their single subject foundational level credential. Many of those teachers have been hired back by their district.
The program is a joint effort between College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics, College of Education and the College of Continuing & Professional Education. The Foundational Level Credential Program was nominated for and recognized by the Association for Continuing Higher Education as the 2013 recipient of the Distinguished Program Award in the Outstanding Credit Program category.
Additional cohorts of students have been moving through the program. The current cohort is funded by the S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation. A new cohort will start the year-long program in May 2014.