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Two Cal State campuses among 30 awarded federal teaching grants

September 22, 2011 |  2:41 pm

Photo: A Cal State Dominguez Hills student reads fliers on bulletin board outside classroom on the Carson campus. Credit: Los Angeles Times Two California State University campuses have been awarded federal grants to recruit new teachers for  schools with special needs, such as those serving rural areas and Native American communities, officials announced Thursday.

The Cal State campuses -- Fullerton and Dominguez Hills -- were among five California institutions and 30 nationally to receive $12.8 million in grants as part of the U.S. Department of Education’s Transition to Teaching program. 

The program aims to recruit and train mid-career professionals and recent graduates with degrees outside of education for placement at schools in rural or low-income communities and with particular staffing needs in such subjects as science; technology; engineering and math; and bilingual and special education.

The projects are funded for five years and an estimated 4,800 new teachers are expected to be certified in fast-track courses.  Candidates are required to commit to teach for at least three years.

“Talented teachers come in from all walks of life, and life experiences can enhance their abilities in the classroom and rapport with students," U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a statement. “These grants will encourage more interested professionals to transition to teaching and increase our cadre of teachers for schools that need them the most.”

Fullerton will receive $421,333 and Dominguez Hills $949,430. Other California grantees are Holy Names University in Oakland, the Oakland Unified School District and the University of San Francisco.

Dominguez Hills is joining with 20 school districts statewide, including Los Angeles Unified and the Tulare County Office of Education, to provide about 235 science and math teachers, said program director Kamal Hamdan. Online courses and a local lab school will allow those who don’t live in Los Angeles to enroll.

“We are addressing urban and rural communities and that’s something that’s never been done before, Hamdan said. “Many of these communities are in desperate need of high-quality and effective teachers, especially in math and science.”


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Photo: A Cal State Dominguez Hills student reads fliers on a bulletin board outside a classroom on the Carson campus. Credit: Los Angeles Times