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Local school districts, university receive grant to prepare next generation of teachers
The grant will help Turlock Unified expand practice-based training for new K-8 teachers in implementing the states math and science standards. - photo by Journal file photo

Teachers play a vital role in shaping the minds of tomorrow, and thanks to a recent grant awarded to local schools, instructors in the area will be better prepared to execute state standards.

The S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation has gifted Stanislaus State and the Turlock and Ceres unified school districts with a grant to expand practice-based training for new K-8 teachers in implementing the state’s math and science standards.

TUSD places great importance on its science and math courses, and with the Board of Trustees’ recent vote to include two general obligation bond measures on the November ballot, teachers within the district may be able to put what they’ve learned to the test in newly renovated science, technology, engineering and mathematics classrooms throughout the city schools.

Stanislaus State is among 11 California State University campuses that have earned S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation grants and has multiple teacher education programs which have a long history of working with nearby school districts to prepare new teachers. Many of the university’s teacher education courses are taught at local school sites, where candidates are provided opportunities to apply pedagogical content knowledge in supervised settings, including tutoring and other learning activities. This allows teaching candidates to practice specific skills immediately after they are introduced, dramatically enhancing their professional development.

“Preparing skilled teachers who can work with diverse student population is critical to the mission of the university,” said Oddmund Myhre, Stanislaus State Dean of the College of Education, Kinesiology and Social Work. “Our long-term goal is to prepare highly qualified new teachers for schools throughout the region, and together, we can achieve our ambitious plan.”

The grant will fund activities that will elevate new teachers’ abilities to teach mathematics and science to highly diverse student populations. A particular focus for the initiative is to develop clinical placements, where teacher candidates can practice prioritized knowledge and develop instructional skills through professional learning activities focused on mathematics, science content and pedagogy under the mentorship of expert teachers. 

Investments made by the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation will expand the CSU’s New Generation of Educators Initiative, an initiative focused on preparing highly qualified math and science teachers for the elementary and middle grades — the formative years in the educational pipeline that lay a foundation for students’ long-term success and college and career readiness.

“We applaud Stanislaus State and the Turlock and Ceres school districts for this bold effort that will benefit students across the entire region for decades to come,” said Loren Blanchard, CSU executive vice chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs.

For more information on the NGEI, visit