In an effort to mitigate the escalating teacher shortage in California and expand the number of teacher candidates earning STEM and bilingual credentials, Stanislaus State is positioned to develop an integrated four-year teaching credential program beginning in Fall of 2018 thanks to a grant from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
“The region, indeed the entire state, is facing a shortage of teachers,” said Oddmund Myhre, dean of College of Education, Kinesiology and Social Work. “This program, by expediting the degree and credential processes, will not only streamline the pathway to a credential, thus resulting in an increase of available teachers after the fourth year, but I would think that the program, by removing both the time and cost of a separate credential program following the earning of a bachelor’s degree, would make the process of becoming a teacher more attractive to prospective students, another way that the pool of available teachers would be enhanced.”
The $240,127 Integrated Program Grant will be used to develop an integrated four-year teaching credential program beginning with the 2018-19 academic year. Myhre said that the grant funding will be used to design new pathways in existing programs so that qualified students can complete a B.A. in Liberal Studies and a credential in four years, as well as recruit students to these new pathways.
“Stan State is one of the region’s leaders in preparing elementary and secondary teachers,” said Myhre. “In addition to the undergraduate preparation, we offer multiple subject, single subject and education specialist credentials, all of which — under the current structure — can be completed by a full-time student within a single academic year following the earning of a bachelor’s degree. This grant will be used to develop ways to condense the usual four-plus-one pathway to a B.A. and credential into a four-year track.”
“I can think of no better way for Stan State to positively impact our region than by educating our future teachers. Our research shows that the majority of our graduates remain and settle in the region, so our successful teacher education and credential program has been a force in the region for more than 50 years and will continue to be that force well into the future,” said Myhre. “As we move forward, making our children interested in the STEM fields will get them thinking about the myriad of avenues open to them. These not only include becoming teachers in STEM fields, although we know the need is there for STEM teachers, but also becoming the next generation of hand-on scientists as we prepare our region’s future highly trained workforce for the challenges and opportunities of the coming decades.”
Seventeen of the 23 CSU campuses received $5.2 million of the $8 million available in grant funding, marking a majority of the Integrated Program Grants awarded by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. The CSU’s teacher preparation program is the largest in the state and nation awarding 6,500 California Teaching Credentials annually. The university also leads the nation in graduating the largest number of STEM teachers.
“As a statewide innovator in teacher preparation, the CSU is uniquely poised to offer these new four-year blended teacher training programs,” said Marquita Grenot-Scheyer, assistant vice chancellor of Teacher Education Program and Public School Programs. “California’s children and youth deserve highly-qualified teachers committed to student success and the Integrated Program Grants will enable the university to nearly triple the number of new teachers graduating annually with STEM, Special Education and bilingual credentials.”
Grenot-Scheyer said that the new format not only increases the number of teacher candidates graduating annually, but also provides monetary benefits to CSU students. Teacher candidates will save about $20,000 on average by eliminating the cost of an additional year of tuition, college-related expenses and textbooks, according to Grenot-Scheyer, who said that they will also be eligible for $16,000 in state and federal grants.
“There’s never been a better time to enter the profession given these new flexible credentialing options and financial incentives,” said Grenot-Scheyer.