Teacher Development Program partners with CSUB

It’s safe to say that teachers make the world go ‘round, from their support and encouragement to teaching children the fundamentals they need to know in life.

The Commission on Teacher Credentialing recognizes this and recently awarded a grant to the Kern County Superintendent of Schools (KCSOS) Teacher Development Program. Fifty-six students in the Special Education Credential Program will receive a stipend of $3,459 for spring tuition reimbursement.

CSUB’s special education program works closely with the KCSOS to support the teachers who are current students or graduates of the CSUB program, and this grant will further address that.

“The road to becoming a special education teacher is fraught with many challenges, from family obligations, work pressures, to financial hardship that threatens to derail the educational journey. The grant awards facilitate smooth navigation to a quality credential education at CSUB and help special education teacher candidates realize their life passion of embracing, caring and advocating for children with disabilities and their families,” said Dr. Yeunjoo Lee, professor of special education and chair, advanced educational studies.

“This scholarship will relieve students’ financial hardship in this unprecedented time,” said Dr. Lee.

Special education credential program student, Diego Salas, originally fought with the idea to go into another program because he thought it might be faster or easier. However, he said CSUB’s special education program prepared him for what was to come and was an added bonus.

Salas was also able to go through the program with his sister, Marisol, where they were able to bounce ideas off of one another and encourage each other during the challenging times.

“With being named Outstanding Special Education Credential Student for the spring 2020 semester, I know hard work pays off, which is why I am confident that this grant will help me to pursue more in education,” said CSUB student, Diego Salas.

Recipients were selected based on their performances in special education credential program and their intent to teach in a local special education setting and are expected to teach at local special education settings, which would help reducing the teacher shortage in Kern County.

“The money I received through the support of KCSOS will ensure my continuation of the program by helping me pay for my program’s expenses such as buying textbooks, note/project materials, access to programs and tuition,” said Rocio Rodriguez, another student in the Special Education Credential Program.

“For me, this money is not only a way to pay for these expenses, but it also shows that people believe in me and my dream.”

Criteria for the KCSOS Teacher Development Program grant included: Being a current CSUB student in a special education credential program and demonstrating outstanding academic performance and dispositions.

“My professors have given me great feedback and support during my time at CSUB. It is exciting to know that I will be teaching children in Kern County,” said Rodriguez.

The KCSOS Teacher Development Program and CSUB teacher preparation programs have continuously collaborated to provide guidance and support for new special education teachers throughout the years.

The Commission on Teacher Credentialing serves as a state standards board of educator preparation for California public schools and licensing and credentialing of professional educators in the State.

“I want to continue forward in my academic career to obtain a master’s degree and my administrative credential. I can possibly see myself with a doctorate. This grant is the beginning to a road of endless possibilities, and I would love to thank KCSOS for that,” said Salas.

“It is a wonderful feeling knowing that the people of KCSOS are willing to spend their resource for me to achieve that dream,” said Rodriguez.

“I am grateful for this partnership with KCSOS Teacher Development Program. The Kern County faces great shortage of special education teachers, and I hope this grant award helps us to recruit more students to a special education teaching career,” said Dr. Lee.

— Published with permission from news.csub.edu. Story by Shelby Parker, writer/public affairs specialist at CSUB