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Education Professors Help Lead CSU Teacher Initiative

S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation​ Grant to Prepare Next Generation of K-12 Educators

April 15, 2014

Cal State Fullerton's Ruth Yopp-Edwards, professor of elementary and bilingual education, is helping to lead a major California State University initiative to prepare the state's next generation of teachers, associated with a $3 million grant from the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation to the CSU

Yopp-Edwards will serve as chair of the CSU Faculty Work Group that will provide leadership to the new grant project during the next few years.

"I look forward to leading the Faculty Work Group, which will play a key role in planning and guiding the project, help shape priorities, recommend campus initiatives for support and engage other CSU and K-12 faculty in the reform initiative," said Yopp-Edwards.

The Bechtel funding also will assist the CSU to prepare excellent teachers for all students and to equip future teachers to teach Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards, which will be implemented in California schools in 2014-15.

Hallie Yopp Slowik, CSUF professor of elementary and bilingual education, also is involved in related work as a co-author of the state's new "English Language Arts/English Language Development Framework," which provides guidance on implementation of the new standards, an area of focus within the new Bechtel grant.

"I'm honored to serve as one of the primary authors of the document," said Yopp Slowik.

Yopp Slowik is helping to lead regional meetings across the 23-campus system that will provide a comprehensive overview of the new standards in English language arts/literacy, mathematics, science and English language development and related assessments. This effort will allow for sharing of best practices for more than 350 teacher education faculty members across the CSU system.

In addition, CSUF's teacher preparation program has already begun preparing new teachers to work with California's new standards, said Yopp Slowik.

"I am very proud of our faculty for the leadership they are providing in preparing the next generation of California's teachers," said Claire C. Cavallaro, dean of CSUF's College of Education. "Our faculty members are collaborating with our partner school districts to achieve the vision and high expectations of these standards."

The "Preparing A New Generation of Teachers for California" project builds on a partnership between the CSU and the Bechtel Foundation, which has generated successful models for preparing elementary and secondary teachers in science and mathematics.

CSUF created one of these models, an innovative approach that teaches future elementary teachers how to incorporate engineering design into the science curriculum, a major feature of the Next Generation Science Standards.

Beverly Young, CSU assistant vice chancellor for academic affairs, noted that CSUF's College of Education is making important contributions to the system's implementation of the standards.

"The expertise of its faculty regarding the new standards in English/language arts, math, and science is a great asset," Young said.

Tags:  Academics & Research