New prep program aids future educators

by Georgina Vargas , Staff Writer

San Diego State is being awarded close to $750,000 in grants to expand its education program and create a four-year teacher preparation program.

SDSU received three grants from the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, the most out of the 17 California State University campuses that received grants this year.

SDSU will create an integrated program with the grants that will allow students to graduate with their teaching credentials in four years instead of five.

The current education program requires students to get their undergraduate degree and attend an extra year of college to obtain teaching credentials.

“Students will benefit from having K-12 teaching experience since their freshmen year instead of waiting to do so in their fifth year,” Associate Dean of Education Nadine Bezuk said.

The integrated programs will focus on math and science education, special education and bilingual credentials to help the teacher shortages in these areas.

The San Diego Unified School District reported in the fall that there are nearly 2,000 teachers eligible to retire, which means that teaching jobs may be opening for future graduates.

Bezuk said some of the benefits of creating this new program are students will save money on at least one year of tuition and begin their teaching careers earlier. She said the school district will also have more educators to relieve the shortage.

SDSU has already started to plan the new programs that will be open for students this month.

“There’s never been a better time to enter the profession given these new flexible credentialing options and financial incentives,” said Marquita Grenot-Scheyer, assistant vice chancellor of Teacher Education Program and Public School Programs.

SDSU will also begin reaching out to high school students to tell them about the new program.

This semester, SDSU will also host a conference for high school and undergraduate students on campus to inform them about careers in education along with workshops, discussion panels, and a college fair.

“We are working collaboratively with community colleges to prepare students who want to become teachers to get the same experience in college,” Bezuk said.

Community college students will be given the opportunity to be a part of the integrated programs and transfer to SDSU without falling behind on credentials or teaching experience.