SchoolsFirst FCU pledges additional support for student teachers

Published June 12, 2020

While clinical practice is often associated with medical residencies for doctors, this approach is also an integral part of preparing educators.  

Clinical practice is central to all credential programs in the College of Education. For teacher candidates, their preparation culminates in a semester or year-long student teaching experience with an expert Master Teacher. 

To ensure Cal State Long Beach student teachers learn from the best, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union has donated $436,000 over five years to support clinical practice in the College of Education. SchoolsFirst FCU’s gift will fund student teaching boot camps, a Master Teacher Institute, and ongoing calibration trainings for student observation and assessment. 

“We are so appreciative of SchoolsFirst FCU’s investment in developing CSULB’s clinical practice infrastructure,” said CED Dean Shireen Pavri. “Clinical experiences under the guidance of skilled university and school district mentors are invaluable in the preparation of effective teachers.” 

“With CSULB’s teacher preparation programs being amongst the largest in the state of California, SchoolsFirst FCU’s investment in teacher preparation truly matters in providing equitable learning opportunities for young people in the state,” Pavri said. 

Professional development for Master Teachers does more than guarantee students learn from top educators; it also helps seasoned teachers update their skills through direct engagement with student teachers who are learning the latest research-based teaching techniques. More broadly, CED’s clinical infrastructure programs build school capacity by preparing Master Teachers across the region who are qualified to accept student teachers from any university. 

“It’s a great honor to be part of the Master Teacher Program,” said Bill Cheney, President and CEO of SchoolsFirst FCU. “The program is dedicated to shaping the skills of current and future teachers through hands-on modeling and training. The training benefits student and master teachers alike by equipping them with current, evidence-based best practices. 

“By coming together to build deeper and more robust skills, teachers can help our communities grow stronger, creating a brighter future for all of us. This aligns very well with our mission and purpose.” 

SchoolsFirst FCU has been supporting programs at CSULB for more than a decade – from the Ukleja Center for Ethical Leadership to the Alumni Grants Program to the Urban Teaching Academy in a Clinical Home Program as well as the Urban Dual Credential Program.