In the past few months, the School of Education at California State University, Dominguez Hills has been awarded three prestigious grants totaling more than $13 million that will allow the university to have a greater impact in meeting the educational needs of the Los Angeles region.
“These significant projects, along with existing grant-funded programs, support teacher development from the undergraduate level all the way through the administrator level,” said Dr. Cynthia Grutzik, acting director of the School of Education. “All three projects are pushing the envelope in terms of how we think about teacher and administrator preparation. Each one addresses a specific need in Los Angeles schools, and finds innovative ways to engage our CSUDH students. The School of Education is truly on the forefront of exciting developments in the field of education.”
Additional information about each of the three grants is provided below.
Charter and Autonomous Public School Leadership Academy
Funding source: U.S. Department of Education
Award amount: $1.3 million for first year; $9.2 million over five years
The U.S. Department of Education’s School Leadership program awarded a five-year, multi-million dollar grant to the university—one of only five universities nationwide to receive a School Leadership grant—for the creation of the Charter and Autonomous Public School Leadership Academy (CASLA) in partnership with Los Angeles Unified School District. Through the academy, current and aspiring principals and assistant principals from public charter schools and independently operated public schools will earn their preliminary administrative credential, master’s degree, and receive on-going training and support. Because of their schools’ independence from LAUSD, leaders of charter and autonomous public schools face additional challenges that require skills not developed by traditional administrative credential programs. A major goal of the program is to develop effective, knowledgeable, and transformative school leaders who will improve the teaching and learning in the more than 160 LAUSD-sponsored charter schools and 70-plus autonomous schools within the LAUSD service area. Based on outcomes at the end of each grant year, the grant would be renewed up to five years for a total grant amount of $9.2 million.
CSUDH Master Science Teacher Fellowship
Funding source: National Science Foundation
Award amount: $970,224 for first year; $2.99 million over six years
The National Science Foundation awarded CSU Dominguez Hills a $970,224 grant, the first year of a potential six-year grant cycle, to recruit, train, and support master science teachers in biology and chemistry in 18 south Los Angeles-area public schools. Under the grant, two cohorts of 15 current science teachers in local schools would complete a three-semester graduate-level program that combines content knowledge and teacher strategies that will increase their pedagogical and leadership skills. The teachers will also take part in a number of professional development opportunities over a five-year period that will help them better serve as mentors to student teachers and ultimately impact science achievement among students in the participating schools. The program is a collaborative effort between the CSU Dominguez Hills School of Education and College of Natural and Behavioral Sciences, the Los Angeles Education Partnership, and Los Angeles Unified School District’s Local District 7. During the last academic year, officials from all four groups have been developing this program. Based on outcomes at the end of each grant year, the grant would be renewed up to six years for a total grant amount of $2.99 million.
Urban Teacher Fellowship
Funding source: California Employment Development Department
Award amount: approximately $490,000 for the program; grant awarded directly to Los Angeles Harbor College
CSU Dominguez Hills was one of six CSU campuses included in a $3 million Career Pathways Partnerships grant awarded in June as part of the governor’s California Gang Reduction, Intervention and Prevention (CalGRIP) initiative. The universities are partnering with local community colleges and community-based organizations—the direct recipients of the grants—to provide a pathway for at-risk youth to attain a college degree and become teachers. The programs each campus will implement are to be modeled after the Urban Teacher Fellows program created by CSU Dominguez Hills, Los Angeles Harbor College and the South Bay Center for Counseling. The program, now in its third year, identified local high school youth or community college students who showed interest in becoming educators and has provided them with financial and educational support as they worked their way through Harbor College, and transferred to CSU Dominguez Hills, where they are earning their bachelor’s degree, with a goal of entering the teaching credential program. While Urban Teacher Fellows they also gain experience working in an after-school program for high-need elementary school students.