(Carson, Ca.) California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) has been awarded the first year of a $7.6 million multi-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) to develop an innovative teacher education program that offers the unique opportunity to earn a multiple-subject and single-subject credential in one program. Most universities only offer these credentials in separate programs.
The Accelerated Preparation Program for Leaders in Education (APPLE) program will receive $4,946,297 over three years or $7,591.553 over five years to prepare approximately 350 teachers for the classroom.
CSUDH students who has gone through APPLE will teach in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) with the option of teaching in a multiple-subject in a K-6 grade classroom, a mathematics or science class in the 7th or 8th grade, or a math class in high school.
CSUDH’s Center for Innovation in STEM Education (CISE) will manage APPLE in partnership with LAUSD Local District East, and LAUSD Local District South. APPLE participants are obligated to teach within these two local-districts.
Kamal Hamdan, an Annenberg-endowed professor and director of CISE who served as principal investigator for the DOE grant, says APPLE is especially designed for those who cannot afford to do traditional student teaching or a residency program. It enables participants to become teachers of record and earn full-time pay with benefits as they complete the program.
“I am extremely proud of our CSUDH CISE team for securing this grant. This is our first grant from this source, and the competition was tough. I am also extremely happy for the aspiring teachers who will benefit from this program, and our local schools,” said Hamdan. “APPLE will help them address an acute and persistent need for elementary teachers with a strong background in math and science, and for middle school single-subject math and science teachers.”
CISE and LAUSD will recruit teachers who are demographically similar to the students they will teach to increase achievement and retention, particularly those who demonstrate math or science content knowledge that exceeds that of a typical elementary teacher and aligns with expert recommendations.
Stipends will be available for summer training to attract talented teachers regardless of income. APPLE will also include foundational courses, observation and practice teaching before full-time teaching as university interns, support from instructional coaches, mentors during their internship year while they earn a preliminary credential, and support through a two-year induction as they earn a full credential.
APPLE also offers micro-credentials across multiple districts to increase the skills of in-service educators in cutting-edge STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) topics. In-service educators may also earn a micro-credential in fabrication technology, project-based-learning, or in computer science to add an authorization to their credential to teach computer science.
“The APPLE project will be a difference-maker. I guarantee it. This will affect the lives of over 100,000 students per year. This is huge for us and for LAUSD,” said Hamdan. “CSUDH rises to the challenge again. I could not be prouder!”