November 19, 2001 Vol. VI, No. 7

Professor Awarded Grant to Prepare 40 Bilingual Teachers

New Program, Recruiting from Bilingual Teacher's Aides and Seniors, to Begin in Spring 2002

Cal State Northridge and its College of Education, through the efforts of secondary education professor Clara Park, have received a $743,515 grant from the U.S. Department of Education to train bilingual teachers in the Los Angeles area.

"Los Angeles TAP (Teachers and Personnel) 2001: Bilingual Teacher Education Project" during a three-year period will educate 40 new bilingual teachers fluent in the Armenian, Korean, Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese or Cambodian languages.

Through this grant, Cal State Northridge will become the first teacher education institution in California to educate Armenian and Pilipino bilingual teachers for state certification, said Park, the coordinator of the project.

"Due to recent demographic changes, public schools in California need more bilingual teachers," she added. "As one of the best and largest teacher education institutions in the state, Northridge is fortunate to receive this federal grant to educate a fine cadre of future bilingual teachers."

"To provide effective instruction for these limited English proficient students, schools and school districts need to hire more bilingual teachers, and there is a great shortage of well-qualified bilingual teachers," she said.

Park was awarded the grant in October by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Language Affairs. She has already begun recruiting bilingual participants, working closely with local school districts, including Los Angeles, Glendale and Burbank.

The actual TAP coursework will begin in spring 2002. Park is recruiting from a pool of bilingual teacher's aides, as well as Northridge seniors who are fluent in one of the specified languages and interested in a teaching career.

Undergraduate students with a minimum 3.0 GPA participating in the project will be eligible for scholarships for tuition and books until they complete the Northridge credential preparation program.

Park joined the College of Education as a full-time professor in 1991. With a master's and Ph.D. in education from USC, Park specializes in literacy, English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) and bilingual education.

@csun | November 19, 2001 issue
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