The College of Education at Cal State LA has been awarded a $7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to continue the success of the university’s Los Angeles Urban Teacher Residency (LAUTR) program.
The residency program, which trains new teachers to help close the achievement gap of students in high-need urban schools, has prepared 12 cohorts of graduates currently teaching in high-need California schools since 2009.
The five-year grant will propose to develop 276 community-centered teachers to deliver culturally sustaining instruction for students in critical areas of special education, secondary STEM education and bilingual education. This is the third time the college has received this grant through the ED Teacher Quality Partnership Program.
“This grant provides Cal State LA the opportunity to ground the education of the teachers in the communities in which they will teach,” said A.Dee Williams, interim associate dean and professor of curriculum and instruction in the university’s College of Education, who is the lead principal investigator.
This new Community Collaborative (CC) of the LAUTR will work together with community-based organizations, including A Place Called Home, InnerCity Struggle, Young & Healthy and WestEd. Partners of the expanded program will also include East Los Angeles College and Rio Hondo College, along with two urban public school districts—Los Angeles Unified School District and Pasadena Unified School District.
Williams indicated that the residency program impacts both the undergraduate Integrated Teacher Education Programs (ITEP) and the post-graduate-level credentials program at Cal State LA. An ITEP, sometimes referred to as a blended program, leads to both a bachelor’s degree and a preliminary teaching credential.
“[The residency program aims] to equip future mathematics, science, bilingual and special education teachers in implementing the curriculum and instruction creatively and effectively in the lives of the students while connecting to state standards,” he noted.
The LAUTR-CC will offer a unique synthesis of theory, research and practical hands-on experience, combining a full academic year classroom apprenticeship with a carefully aligned sequence of credential coursework. The residency training will be spearheaded by Cal State LA faculty members Kimberly Persiani, Leila Ansari Ricci and Verónica González, who, along with Williams, will make up the project leadership team.
A project management team comprised of faculty, district and community partners will assist in the program’s implementation. Community partners will also bring a social justice perspective by assisting in the construction and teaching of courses and leading community-based experiences focused on advocacy, equity and family support.
The residents will spend the full academic year in an urban public school, developing under the guidance of an experienced mentor teacher. They will earn their credentials after the 10-month residency experience, upon which they will join the districts as first-year teachers prepared to lead the next generation of community-literate students.
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California State University, Los Angeles is the premier comprehensive public university in the heart of Los Angeles. Cal State LA is ranked number one in the United States for the upward mobility of its students. Cal State LA is dedicated to engagement, service, and the public good, offering nationally recognized programs in science, the arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education, and the humanities. Founded in 1947, the University serves more than 26,000 students and has more than 250,000 distinguished alumni.