Grant Will Help Increase Number of Latinx Teachers
By Brian Hiro
Cal State San Marcos believes that there should be more Latinx teachers in public K-12 schools.
Now the University has the money to help accomplish that very goal.
Late last month, CSUSM was awarded a $2.7 million, five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education for the recruitment, support and preparation of Latinx teachers. The grant is titled Project SUPPORT – which stands for Serving Underrepresented Populations Partnering for Opportunities and Rewards in Teaching – and it’s part of the Department of Education’s Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions program.
Hispanic-Serving Institutions are colleges or universities in which at least 25 percent of the undergraduate, full-time enrollment is Latinx, and at least half of the institution’s degree-seeking students are low-income. CSUSM is one of 21 California State University schools that have achieved this designation.
“I hope what this grant means is that we can change the landscape of education to be more reflective of students,” said Pat Stall, the director of CSUSM’s School of Education and the principal investigator for the grant. “Almost all of our North County school districts have over 50 percent Latinx students, and the range of Latinx teachers is 12 to 19 percent. Of course, that kind of discrepancy is not unusual; it’s the same around the country.”
The grant will allow CSUSM’s School of Education to provide a comprehensive system of recruitment and support for prospective Latinx teachers.
Recruitment activities include:
High school teacher preparation pipelines such as the Encuentros Leadership Academy and emerging Educators Rising chapters in local districts such as Vista, Oceanside, Escondido and San Marcos;
Pursuing bilingual candidates from college programs such as California Mini-Corps and the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) as well as through the Latin@ Center and Office of First-Year Programs;
Aligning with recruitment efforts already underway for various STEM grants focused on math and science education;
Marketing the new, more flexible four-year Integrated Teacher Education Program (ITEP) to classified employees, frequently working as teacher aides in partner school districts.
Funding from the grant also will provide academic and relational support through a mentoring component that includes preparation for the state-required entry- and exit-level tests for teacher credentialing. The mentoring approach also involves awareness of financial aid and scholarship packages for teacher preparation.
“Clear research suggests that when students have at least some teachers from the same backgrounds, they do better in school,” Stall said. “So there’s a high need for more diversity among teachers.”
Brian Hiro, Communications Specialist
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