The CSUN Michael D. Eisner College of Education has received a $40,000 grant to help increase the number of math and science teachers in California’s K-12 schools.
The grant is part of a larger initiative for the California State University and the University of California to increase the amount of teachers in math and science credential programs and to also produce new, accelerated coursework for those who want to obtain the teaching credentials, said Jerry Nader, manager of Academic Resources in the College of Education.
Laura Lindberg, director of development and grant writer for the college of education, said $1,000,000 will go to California public universities, with the UC getting $750,000 and the CSU receiving $250,000.
The grant, is for the semester, Nader said.
The grant, initially proposed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in May 2005, is part of an initiative to create more qualified teachers in math and science, and hopefully arouse interests among California students in the sciences.
CSUN officials said the grant should help equip the College of Education to tackle the shortage of teachers.
“In middle schools and high schools, there’s a lot of teachers that have credentials that are not teaching the right subject areas,” said Alex Lucero, assistant director of education, Educational Equity/EOP. “Such as, you might have a history teacher teaching a science class or a math class because there’s a huge shortage in math and science and that’s why there’s an initiative.”
The shortage has been getting worse for several years now, Nader said.
“I think it’s because there is this perceived idea that you don’t grow as a teacher,” Nader said. “The beginning salary of a principal is something like $125,000 I think, its really high I think and the beginning for a teacher is $45,000.”
The grant will help the initiative program keep California’s educational institutions competitive, Nader said. It will help the College of Education in its short- and long-term approaches to addressing the math and science teacher shortage.
The college will be able to produce more teachers in the short term with the funds from the grant, Nader said.
For the long term, he said he hopes that the college can develop new, innovative ways of training teachers and that new techniques can have a far-reaching effect on the future of education in California.
Nader said the length of time to earn a credential will be examined and will be probably be shortened slightly.
Once someone graduates with their bachelor’s degree, then he or she is looking at another year or two year to get your teaching credentials, Lindberg said.
“We have a lot of programs here in the college and a lot across campus, and what we are trying to do is take all of these resources and use them toward this end,” Nader said. “Not only are we going to be doing recruitment here, we are going to be doing recruitment in high schools and junior colleges. We are trying to look at everybody we have here on campus that sort of do something similar and try to unite them and get them to work toward one objective.”