Biology | Chemistry | Geoscience | Physics | Curriculum Standards | Home
References | San Fernando Valley Science Project
Science Leader Initiative | NSF Research Fellowships for Teachers


Cal State Dominguez Hills Awarded More Than
$6.7 Million in Federal Education Grants

Carson, CA – Assistant Secretary Sally Stroup of the U.S. Department of Education presented two checks totaling more than $6.7 million to President James E. Lyons, Sr. at California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) on Thursday, Sept. 9. The awards cover multiyear federal education grants to support the university’s efforts to train and recruit highly qualified teachers for math, science and special education for urban schools.

The Quality Educator Development (QED) program, part of the nationwide Teacher Quality Enhancement program, received a check for $4,917,920 to train highly qualified teachers and improve student achievement by bringing fundamental change to teacher education programs. Specifically, CSUDH will be improving the way students are prepared for the challenges of a math and science teaching career in an urban district. Collaborating with the LAUSD, local community colleges and business partners, the university anticipates providing highly qualified mathematics and science teachers who will be better equipped to increase student achievement. At the same time, the intent is to close the achievement gap for poor, minority and limited English proficient students in the urban area.

Joseph Braun, associate dean of CSUDH’s College of Education is the project director. He points out that the program will focus on four of LAUSD’s lowest performing local school districts. “LAUSD, the nation’s second largest school district, is divided into eight geographically derived local districts – our project targets Local Districts 5, 6, 7 and 8, which are the four districts in closest proximity to the university,” Braun says. “These are the districts with the greatest need for highly

qualified mathematics and science teachers. We hope to attract students with strong math and science interest when they are freshman and new transfer students. We will provide them with a solid background in their subject areas as well as prepare them to be effective teachers in the inner city.”

Eunice Krinsky, professor of mathematics and director of the CSUDH Center of Mathematics and Sciences, is a co-director of the grant. She sees this project as an excellent opportunity for CSUDH to expand its ongoing partnership with local school districts. QED enhances an existing collaboration with SCALE [Systemwide Change for All Learners and Educators], a National Science Foundation (NSF) mathematics and science partnership. QED is particularly valuable because of its collaboration with math and science faculty with those in education. Krinsky says, “We need to know district needs. After all, the university is the last stop model for teachers, even before they earn a credential. We must have collaboration.”

CSUDH is seeing more incoming freshman and Braun and Krinsky see the opportunity of actively recruiting those with calculus and pre-calculus skills and those with a strong interest in science. Through the grant, these students will be able to receive stipends for books and other supplies. The hope is to get them prepared more swiftly and effectively.

The Transition to Teaching program received a check for $1,807,650 of a 5-year grant. Assistant Secretary Stroup lauded Dominguez Hills for its grant application, which scored so high in the review process that the university received three years of funding for the first year. Only eight other applications in the nation scored high enough to earn this distinction. The Transition to Teaching program supports efforts to recruit talented mid-career professionals and recent college graduates to teach in high-need schools through new, alternative certification routes. CSUDH will be recruiting, preparing, supporting and working to retain highly qualified math, science and special education teachers in high-need schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).

Kamal Hamdan, CSUDH assistant professor of teacher education (single subject – math), is the principal investigator for the grant. Kate Esposito, CSUDH professor of teacher education (special education) will coordinate the special education component of the grant. Hamdan says that through

the program120 participants – 60 in math and science and 60 in special education with an expertise in math and science – will earn a preliminary credential as quickly as one year. At the same time, they will be teaching as university interns in 10 high schools and feeder middle schools,
plus two K-12 school. Targeted recruits include immigrant professionals, mid-career professionals, recent college graduates and special-education contracted teachers without a preliminary credential who are currently teaching K-12 students. Because the majority of teacher candidates are/will be teaching in urban schools with multicultural students, university coursework and field experiences address English-language learners and diverse learning styles. Also, the program provides ample opportunities to learn state academic standards, use instructional materials and apply understanding to teaching K-12 students.

President Lyons said that as an urban university, CSUDH is doing what it should be doing – playing a major role in the math, science and special education of the area. Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Allen Mori commented on how positive it was to see two colleges - the College of Education and the College of Natural & Behavioral Sciences – to be working together on issues important to this campus and the math, science and special education needs of the region.