California State University, Long Beach
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Bechtel Award To Help Transform Teacher Education

Published: April 1, 2015

Through California State University’s (CSU) Preparing a New Generation of Educators Initiative, CSULB’s College of Education (CED) was recently awarded a $230,000 grant from the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation for its transformative efforts to enhance educator teacher preparation.

CSULB is one of seven CSU campuses (and eight programs total) that are part of the CSU systemwide initiative and received its funding as part of a $3 million grant from the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation.

The funding will help meet the state’s need for a new generation of teachers and other educators who are well prepared to teach California’s new K-12 curriculum based on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and English Language Development (ELD) standards with excellence and fidelity. “The S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation is proud to support the work of the CSU New Generation of Educators Initiative,” said Lauren Dachs, President of the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation. “We believe that teacher preparation at the CSU is the best lever to advance the successful implementation of the Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards, and that the strategic work CSU will do in partnership with the K-12 districts that hire its teacher graduates will shape the future of teacher preparation in California–and the success of California students–for years to come.”

Along with CSULB, the other campuses involved are Channel Islands, Fresno, Fullerton, Northridge, San Luis Obispo and Stanislaus. The CSU’s CalStateTEACH program will also participate.

The selected campuses will serve as pilot and demonstration sites, testing and sharing implementation strategies and outcomes data with each other and the rest of the system. The intent is to advance teacher preparation for the new standards across the CSU and throughout California.

“These eight programs are taking the lead in addressing California’s need for innovation in teacher preparation to address the new standards and prepare world-class teachers,” said Beverly Young, CSU Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. “Each has given serious thought about how to transform the whole pipeline–from early recruitment through becoming credentialed–so that each stage is designed to ensure rigorous preparation of every new teacher.”

Specifically, CSULB in partnership with the Long Beach Unified School District, has created a project that involves all three initial credential programs—those preparing elementary, and secondary teachers and education specialists. The project will develop and demonstrate exemplary approaches for selecting and training master teachers, establish clinical schools where cohorts of teacher candidates are placed for student teaching, and define and collect evidence-based metrics for assessing program impacts for continuous program improvement.

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“There are three primary goals for the project which will focus on our candidates in the three initial credential programs,” said Marquita Grenot-Scheyer, CED dean. “Our students will demonstrate deep content and pedagogical content knowledge and skill in implementing CCSS/NGSS/ELD standards in urban sites; receive structured and sequenced early field and student teaching experiences with experienced teachers in diverse urban settings; and will be prepared to promote college and career readiness for their K-12 students. I greatly appreciate the sustained support of the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation.”

Intensive professional development for clinical faculty and master teachers will be jointly designed and executed by district personnel and CSULB faculty, and implemented through summer workshops and ongoing monthly professional development sessions. It is anticipated that these transformative professional development efforts along with the innovative use of sequenced and structured clinical practice in diverse, urban schools will ensure that CSULB teacher candidates will exit programs with rich content, pedagogical, and practical knowledge, skills, and dispositions, well-equipped to impact learning outcomes and 21st Century skills for the next generation of California’s K-12 students.

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The S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation envisions a productive, vibrant, and sustainable California that is a model of success and a source of innovation. The Foundation invests in preparing California’s children and youth to contribute to the state’s economy and communities, and in advancing management of California’s water and land resources.