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$4.1 Million Grant Supports Community-Based Teacher Preparation

May 21, 2019


The School of Education (SOE) at Cal Poly benefits from external funding to support reform of its teacher preparation programs. In May 2018, the current awarded grants were in their last years, and the school realized the importance of securing additional funding to sustain reform efforts. Rumors of a new U.S. Department of Education Teacher Quality Partnership grant competition circulated spring quarter. 

External grants have improved the culture of SOE. What once were siloed teacher preparation programs now prioritize cross-program collaboration on course reform, research and unit-wide goals. 

In hopes of continuing these changes, SOE applied for the U.S. Department of Education’s Teacher Quality Partnership grant last year. Principal investigator Megan Guise, co-principal investigators Tanya Flushman and Briana Ronan, and grant manager Sarah Hegg collaborated with faculty, staff and administrators from higher education and K-12 institutions to write the proposal. 

In fall 2018, the SOE team and its partners joyfully greeted the news that the $4.1-million proposal had been funded. The grant supports deliberate and sustainable partnerships across multiple contexts and stakeholders to promote collaborative teacher preparation.

Project goals include:

  • Recruiting teachers from underrepresented populations and teacher shortage areas
  • Reforming courses and fieldwork
  • Implementing a two-year, formalized induction program for new teachers
  • Developing teacher learning around disciplinary literacy

Bringing together four colleges; the Office of University Diversity and Inclusion; the Center for Engineering, Science and Mathematics Education; and four high-need K-12 districts, the project addresses teacher preparation reform grounded in community-based approaches. 

SOE believes that by establishing partnerships between Cal Poly, K-12 schools and the surrounding communities, teacher candidates will be better prepared to teach within those communities. The partnership framework prioritizes a shared vision, structures that enable success, commitment of resources, and alignment between school and university personnel. 

After completing a community-based preparation program, teacher candidates will be able to recognize and leverage community assets and resources to become socially just and culturally responsive teachers.

Social Justice Education Conference Offers Resources for PreK-12 Schools

May 21, 2019


Dr. Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales (front) and DJ Gabriel de la Cruz (back)
Keynote speakers Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales (front) and DJ Gabriel de la Cruz present their "Ethnic Studies Mixtape." Photo courtesy of Central Coast Coalition for Undocumented Student Success (CCC-USS)



The School of Education (SOE) and its collaborators hosted the second annual Social Justice Education Conference at Santa Maria High School in May, with presentations and discussions centering on the theme Doing What We Know Is Right: Ethnic & Gender Studies for Every Student! 

The event was attended by 150 guests who enjoyed presentations, workshops and a curriculum and resource fair to advance social justice in PreK-12 schools. Keynote speakers this year included Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales, a renowned ethnic studies scholar and activist from San Francisco State University, and Ricardo Valencia, an educator and community activist working at Santa Maria High School. 

Eric Blanco and Patricia Villalobos
Eric Blanco and Patricia Villalobos from Santa Maria Joint
Union High School District  present on their ethnic and
gender studies efforts. Photo courtesy of Central Coast
Coalition for Undocumented Student Success
(CCC-USS)

The conference also featured presentations by Cal Poly’s education candidates from the Multiple Subject and Single Subject Teacher Preparation programs and the Spanish Authorization for Bilingual Education Program (SABE). 

Candidates in the SABE program presented archival research, historical information and in-depth bilingual interviews they have been gathering from local Latinx residents and families. The candidates used these ethnographies and oral histories to build a vibrant and dynamic understanding of community members’ immigration histories and life experiences. Candidates also participated in walking tours to highlight historical sites, resources and organizations that feature the contributions that Latinx communities made to the Central Coast.

This year’s event was built on the success of last year’s Social Justice Curriculum and Resource Fair, which included more than 100 attendees across PreK-higher education fields and more than 20 presentations and sessions led by faculty, in-service teachers and future educator candidates from SOE. Reflective of SOE’s commitment to community-based teacher preparation, the Social Justice Education Conference is a collaboration of community leaders and educators, including the Cal Poly Office of University Diversity and Inclusion, the Central Coast Coalition for Undocumented Student Success, and the Santa Maria Joint Unified High School District.

Letter from the Director 2019

May 21, 2019


Dear Friends of SOE, 

The School of Education is moving from strength to strength. This year we hired two new tenure-track faculty members, one in elementary science education and one in educational leadership and administration. This coming fall we will start the new academic year with thirteen tenure-track faculty, more than we have had for many years. 

As I observe our programs, I am frequently reminded of when a colleague said to me, “If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a community to raise a teacher.” The word “community” implies a group of professionals carefully coordinating their efforts, working collaboratively rather than independently, and actively engaging in the enrichment of each other’s lives. Our educator preparation programs are truly community-based teacher preparation. There is an increasingly strong sense of community commitment in our educator preparation programs, which is aligned with principles of best practice. 

Our faculty are deeply engaged in building partnerships with schools and school districts in our local communities. This year Megan Guise, Tanya Flushman and Briana Ronan received a large federal grant that will, in part, examine and establish best practices in strengthening the partnerships we have between our teacher preparation programs and our local schools and school districts. It is exciting to see so many of our faculty, and so much of our collective energy, focused on strengthening school partnerships in the delivery of our teacher preparation programs. 

A number of other faculty members were also awarded new research grants this year. Collectively, our faculty has more than $8 million in external funding. This is a remarkable accomplishment and reflects a true team effort, including the amazing work of our grants manager, Sarah Hegg. These grants provide an incredible boon for our students who will engage with faculty in groundbreaking work. 

The renovation of our computer lab is almost complete. The new Educational Technology Lab, a cutting-edge digital collaboration classroom, will serve as a resource for our teacher candidates and for teachers in the schools with which we have partnerships. Our goal is to use the facility to help current and future teachers incorporate instructional technology more seamlessly into their classrooms.

It is richly rewarding to see the accomplishments of our school, and I am truly privileged to be the director. Thank you for your ongoing support of the School of Education at Cal Poly. Whatever your connection to Cal Poly, I pledge to continue striving to make it stronger in tandem with your continued engagement.

Cheers, 
Kevin Taylor

Continue reading Letter from the Director 2019...

2019 Newsletter

May 21, 2019


Featured Articles


Social Justice Education Conference Offers Resources for PreK-12 Schools

The Social Justice Education Conference brought together speakers, workshops and a curriculum and resource fair to advance social justice in PreK-12 schools.

Letter from the Director

Kevin Taylor reflects on the many ways that the School of Education offers truly community-based teacher preparation.

Read the director's letter ›

$4.1 Million Grant Supports Community-Based Teacher Preparation

A new grant from the U.S. Department of Education supports deliberate and sustainable partnerships across multiple contexts and stakeholders to promote collaboration on campus and beyond. 

Read more about the grant ›

Continue reading 2019 Newsletter...

3/7 - Teacher Job Fair

Feb 1, 2019


Continue reading 3/7 - Teacher Job Fair...

School of Education Receives $4.1 Million Federal Grant to Reform Teaching Programs

Oct 26, 2018


Trio of Cal Poly grant overseers

Education Professor Megan Guise has received a $4.1 million U.S. Department of Education grant to reform teacher preparation programs in elementary, secondary and special education. School of Education faculty Tanya Flushman and Briana Ronan will serve as co-principal investigators. “Pathways and Partnerships to Ensure Student Success” takes an interdisciplinary approach to teacher education and includes deliberate partnering at all levels of teacher preparation. The award brings together four colleges, the Office of University Diversity and Inclusion, and the Center for Engineering, Science and Mathematics Education. The grant also includes partnerships with four high-need school districts in Paso Robles, Guadalupe and South Monterey and Kern counties. Project goals include: recruiting teachers from underrepresented populations and teacher shortage areas (STEM fields, special education, agriculture, bilingual education); creating deliberate and sustaining partnerships with high-need partner districts; implementing a two-year, formalized induction program that includes high-quality mentoring, structured observations, instructional rounds and professional development; and developing teacher learning around K-12 literacy skills across the subject areas (particularly in STEM and computer science). This is the third Teacher Quality Partnership grant awarded to Cal Poly faculty.

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School of Education
California Polytechnic State University
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407
805.756.2126
soe@calpoly.edu