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$2.75 Million Grant Awarded To Enhance Diversity of Teacher Candidates (Spotlight)

California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) received a $2.75 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to enhance the teacher pipeline from Latina/o communities. 

CSULB is a four-year comprehensive university and Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) that enrolls over 37,000 students per year of which 39% are Hispanic. The Caminos Project was developed to take advantage of the large scale of teacher preparation programs, and institutional links to undergraduate subject matter preparation programs, at CSULB to expand the number of Hispanic teachers in elementary and secondary public schools.

The CSULB Caminos Project aims to increase the number of Latino/a and Hispanic students who enter undergraduate majors that meet state teacher certification requirements for subject matter preparation and that best prepare candidates for postgraduate pedagogic preparation and teaching careers. The project also seeks to expand the number of Latino/a and Hispanic students who persist and complete both degree and credentialing programs and do so with greater timeliness. The Caminos Project also aims to ensure that all CSULB initial teacher candidates demonstrate effectiveness and cultural competence to promote learning in diverse and low-income schools.

To achieve these objectives, some key project activities include the creation of community engagement programs and new curricular pathways for expediting entry into pipeline undergraduate degrees and through them postgraduate credential programs. The Caminos Project will establish undergraduate learning communities and teacher mentor partnerships as well as a professional development program relating to culturally responsive pedagogy in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and clinical practice. The Principal Investigator (PI) for the Caminos Project is Shireen Pavri, dean of the College of Education. The Co-Project Directors and Co-PIs are Tim Keirn, Single Subject Program Coordinator, and Jose Moreno, Chair of the Department of Chicano & Latino Studies.