El Camino College receives federal grant to design pipeline for aspiring educators of color
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El Camino College receives federal grant to design pipeline for aspiring educators of color

El Camino College is one of three Los Angeles-area community colleges, along with the Center for Collaborative Education (CCE), to receive a three-year Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The grant supports the development and implementation of a teacher pipeline that recruits and supports aspiring educators from the local community, addressing the need for more teachers of color. 

“We are excited to play a role in helping to diversify and strengthen teacher diversity,” said Dr. Oscar Santos, Executive Director at CCE. “In order to effectively do this work, it is critical to begin this work with the communities where these schools are. Our Collective Ownership Model is an asset-based approach to build leadership within and for communities.”

The Collective Ownership Model increases equity and opportunity in schools and communities by focusing on key drivers that include engaging the community to build voice and ownership, leveraging the community through an asset-based approach, and building capacity through applied leadership. 

The SEED grant allows CCE to create the Community Partnerships for Teachers Pipeline (CPTP), a collaborative and community-led initiative that provides aspiring teachers with innovative educator certification pathways and training. El Camino’s CPTP program, TEACH El Camino, will receive approximately $900,000 over the three-year span of the grant.

TEACH El Camino was created in response to California’s projected need for teachers over the next decade. The program offers courses and fieldwork for those planning to teach at all grade levels as well as for students interested in other education-related careers, including administration, counseling, psychology, social work, libraries, nursing, and speech/language pathology. Students enrolled in TEACH El Camino also benefit from services like transfer agreements with local universities, professional support staff, and a teacher resource room. 

“This grant will help us continue to support our students. We are facing difficult times and it’s taking the biggest toll on our students,” said Yadira Arellano, Community Coordinator for TEACH El Camino. “I am excited and looking forward to working collaboratively with the rest of the colleges and with some of our departments to support our future teachers.” 

El Camino College is joined in the partnership by Rio Hondo College and Cerritos College. The development of the CPTP will increase teacher diversity in local Los Angeles communities, and, as a result, improve outcomes for students of color in public schools. The CPTP will ultimately serve as a model for teacher pipelines nationwide, ensuring that students and teachers across the country have what they need to succeed. 

“One of the great strengths of California’s community college system is its ability to leverage the power of partnerships,” said El Camino College President Dena P. Maloney. “We’re pleased to be working with Rio Hondo and Cerritos in this way, and in pursuit of such an important goal: ensuring a talented, diverse workforce of educators in our local classrooms.” 

In implementing the CPTP, CCE and community colleges like El Camino will offer aspiring teachers of color several pathways to becoming an educator, including STEM certification, special education assistant certification, and more. Students will also receive personalized mentorship and career development to ensure that as new teachers, they’re confident and successful in their new roles. The CPTP will also place and support teacher candidates in local neighborhood schools that will benefit the most from increased educator diversity.

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December 14, 2020