November 18, 2002 Vol. VII, No. 7

CSUN President Jolene Koester and the university's Teachers for a New Era (TNE) proposal.

Northridge Launches Teachers for a New Era Initiative

University to Undertake Five-Year, $5.7 Million Project to Improve Teaching and Student Learning

Moving into the national spotlight for teacher training, Cal State Northridge has launched its participation in the Teachers for a New Era (TNE) initiative, a landmark five-year, $5.7 million effort at the campus to develop model teacher preparation programs to improve student learning in the classroom.

Vartan Gregorian, president of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, recently informed CSUN President Jolene Koester that the university's proposal had been accepted, subject to concurrence by the Cal State system's Board of Trustees. The trustees last week enthusiastically voted to approve the university's participation.

CSUN is one of four institutions nationwide that has been selected for the initiative, which is being funded by Carnegie, the Ford Foundation and the Annenberg Foundation. The three other participating schools, each to receive similar funding, are the Bank Street College of Education in New York, Michigan State University, and the University of Virginia.

"This is an opportunity for our campus and the CSU to have a direct impact on the nation's direction for teacher preparation and the assurance of learning in our schools," President Koester said. "For all of us at CSUN, the university's selection is a recognition of Cal State Northridge's commitment to preparing excellent teachers."

The president, joined by CSUN Provost Louanne Kennedy, also thanked CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed and the trustees for having made teacher preparation a systemwide priority for the CSU, the nation's largest university system. The Cal State system prepares more than half of all new teachers in California, and CSUN has the largest teachers program in the CSU.

Reed and CSU trustees in turn applauded Cal State Northridge's selection for the national initiative, calling it an honor for the campus and the system. The chancellor said, "I am so pleased. This is a winner for the CSU of all time. The competition was intense. I know of 500 colleges and universities that wanted this, and four ended up being chosen."

President Koester told the trustees that the national initiative, now getting underway, already has been receiving exceptional national publicity and attention. The president added that Carnegie officials have called CSUN's proposal and plans for the project models to be shared with other higher education institutions.

In his letter, Carnegie President Gregorian asked President Koester to "extend to your faculty and staff our deepest appreciation for the extraordinary energy, creativity and intelligence they brought to the demanding task of proposal development. The results are impressive indeed." Gregorian called the initiative an "exciting opportunity to help our nation's children benefit from the highest quality teachers its institutions of higher education can prepare."

Provost Kennedy said a committee of faculty, administrators, K12 teachers and community members already is at work planning the campus' activities under the initiative. The university also will be partnering with others, including the Los Angeles Unified School District and the Achievement Council of Los Angeles, and external evaluators and consultants.

Vice Provost Philip Handler, who will be CSUN's project manager, said the university's participation will be campus-wide, given that the teacher preparation program involves six of CSUN's eight academic colleges. In early December, Kennedy and Handler are slated to lead a CSUN delegation to a national meeting on the initiative in Washington, D.C.

@csun | November 18, 2002 issue
Public Relations | University Advancement
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