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SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Seeking to increase the number of teachers with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), K-12, adult education, and career technical education (CTE) qualifications, the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office today announced it has awarded $1.2 million in grants to 10 community college districts with existing Teacher Preparation Pipeline programs in order to more effectively recruit and train students for careers as teachers in these disciplines.
The California Community Colleges STEM Teacher Preparation Pipeline grant addresses the critical need for teachers with STEM backgrounds in California. California’s demand for new math and science teachers in the next 10 years is expected to exceed 33,000, far surpassing the number of STEM teachers that the state is expected to produce. In addition, an estimated 51,500 openings for elementary school teachers and 31,100 jobs for secondary school teachers will occur statewide between 2010 and 2020.
“If we want more diversity in the STEM technician occupations that drive many of our regional economies, like those in biotech, healthcare, and energy, let’s inspire students by giving them diverse role models in STEM teaching positions,” said California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice W. Harris. “Cultivating an innovation worker begins with the effective recruitment and training of STEM teachers. Our community colleges reflect the diversity of California and are well-positioned to train the next generation of STEM teachers.”
Despite the increased need for new teachers, fewer college students are choosing careers as teachers. The California State University issued just 5,787 credentials in 2011-12 compared to 13,933 in 2003-04. The median annual statewide salary for elementary and secondary school teachers is $67,496 and $65,388, respectively.
More InnovationMaker investments will follow the awarding of this initial California Community Colleges STEM Teacher Preparation Pipeline grant, including competitive grant opportunities that will build community college capacity to respond to the acute industry need for software coding and programming skills as well as workplace “soft” skills such as communication and teamwork.
“Employers across California have voiced significant frustration that there are inadequate or undependable talent pools in these fields,” said Van Ton-Quinlivan, vice chancellor of workforce and economic development at the Chancellor’s Office. “Given the vital role community colleges play in our regional economies, InnovationMaker grants aim to improve training efforts that can reliably deliver on the skillsets needed by employers to create more jobs.”
The California Community Colleges STEM Teacher Preparation Pipeline grants extend program funding through late 2015 for a network of community colleges that includes Cabrillo College, Cerritos College, College of the Canyons, Grossmont College, Cypress College, El Camino College, Rio Hondo College, Saddleback College, City College of San Francisco, and Lemoore College.
Under this grant:
• The colleges will develop internships and work experience courses that provide both college credit and structure for the placement of future teachers in a variety of classrooms and educational settings.
• College education students will be provided opportunities to be teacher assistants in STEM courses at both the college level and in K-12.
• Efforts to promote teaching as a possible career pathway for students in CTE courses will also be boosted on the 10 college campuses. Courses that satisfy the coursework for teaching credentials in CTE subjects will also be promoted to students.
• Adult education teachers will receive additional support from the colleges to ensure that they fulfill all of the necessary coursework needed to retain their adult education credentials.
• The colleges will collaborate with the University of California and California State University to determine how articulation agreements between the California Community Colleges and these university systems could be streamlined to facilitate a smoother transfer process for students wishing to become teachers.
• The colleges will provide increased advising and counseling support services for students who demonstrate interest in a teaching career. The colleges will create and revise articulation agreements with high schools and develop seamless pathways for students from high school to community colleges to four-year universities who identify themselves as future teachers.
• An annual teacher preparation program conference in various regions throughout the state will be established and stakeholders will be invited, such as representatives from California State University, University of California, California Community Colleges, and K-12 to share best practices in teaching recruitment.
More on the Chancellor’s Office work to improve California’s workforce skills can be found at
The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation composed of 72 districts and 112 colleges serving 2.1 million students per year. Community colleges supply workforce training, basic skills education and prepare students for transfer to four-year institutions. The Chancellor’s Office provides leadership, advocacy and support under the direction of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges. For more information about the community colleges, please visit