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SchoolsFirst FCU Donates $800,000 to Enhance Support for Teachers

The Federal Credit Union’s Gift Adds its Name to Center, Preserves Programs
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Current and future students pursuing teaching careers at Cal State Fullerton can find academic advisement, counseling, study resources and support services online and at the university’s Center for Careers in Teaching, now under a new name.

The Center for Careers in Teaching in the College of Education has been named the SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union Center for Careers in Teaching, thanks to an $800,000 gift from SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union.

The agreement, signed in October 2020, names the center in recognition of SchoolsFirst FCU’s gift of $500,000 to support the center’s operating and program-related expenses.

This agreement also creates a $300,000 SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union Center for Careers in Teaching Endowment that will sustain the center’s programs and help support its needs indefinitely.

The Center for Careers in Teaching began in 1998 as a first-of-its-kind center in the California State University system. Its mission is to ensure that all students at Cal State Fullerton who wish to become teachers have the resources and support they need to be successful.

Educational Leadership alum Jose Cabrera

The college’s flagship center serves thousands of future teachers, students obtaining their credentials, graduate students and full-time teachers each year through outreach, advising, workshops and teacher preparation programs like Titan Future Teachers and Men of Color in Education.

“This generous gift will allow us to provide additional resources to support the students at Cal State Fullerton who dream of becoming educational leaders,” said Aimee Nelson, director of the SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union Center for Careers in Teaching. “This gift will allow us to provide pathways for future teachers with an emphasis on diversifying the profession, preparing educators who advance anti-racist pedagogy and believe in just, equitable and inclusive education for their students.”

“We are proud to help the College of Education offer innovative, high-quality and inclusive educational opportunities to future, pre-service and in-service teachers in our community,” said Bill Cheney, president and CEO of SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union. “SchoolsFirst FCU’s philanthropic support will provide the college with resources to support aspiring, new and continuing teachers with valuable training and professional development that prepares them to serve the ever-evolving needs of K-12 students.”

SchoolsFirst FCU has supported Cal State Fullerton programs for more than 20 years, donating more than $2 million toward student success programs at the university. SchoolsFirst FCU also supports the College of Education’s Teaching and Learning Series and Honor an Educator events.

Due to the pandemic, a grand opening for the center is tentatively planned for fall 2021 while CSU naming approvals are confirmed.

Kendra Morales