West Hills College Lemoore earns grant to help train teachers in science, math, tech and engineering

From West Hills College Lemoore

Future teachers at West Hills College Lemoore will soon see a boost in the T.E.A.M. Teach program thanks to a $1.2 million grant distributed among 10 community colleges.

The grant is awarded by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office to help recruit more teachers with qualifications in science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) and career technical education (CTE). WHCL is one of the chosen recipients and will receive funding through late 2015.

“T.E.A.M. Teach currently supports future elementary, CTE, and high school teachers, but this STEM focus will allow us to recruit and support future math and science teachers by providing them with monthly workshops and huddles, targeted counseling, access to our textbook checkout program, and placement into internships or tutoring positions at local schools or on campus,” said James Preston, T.E.A.M. Teach advisor and interim dean of educational services at WHCL.

According to the state chancellor’s office, the demand for STEM teachers in California is expected to exceed 33,000 in the next 10 years. Between 2010 and 2020, there will be a need for more than 51,000 elementary school teachers and more than 31,000 secondary school teachers. This grant is expected to help colleges prepare students to meet this demand and fill the gap in the workforce.

T.E.A.M. Teach currently supports 75-100 future teachers a year and helps guide them toward their degree and transfer. T.E.A.M Teach also works closely with the LIFE after school program and the 5c Experience summer program to provide students with hands-on experience in the field while they are still going to college.

Under this grant, there will be increased collaboration between community colleges with the University of California and California State University systems to implement a smoother transfer process for future teachers. An annual teacher preparation program conference will also be organized in different regions within the state where stakeholders will share best teacher recruitment practices.

“Our teacher preparation program will be further enhanced by allowing us to provide a focus on the sciences,” said Don Warkentin, president of WHCL. “Math, science and engineering, along with technology, will be high demand professions as the Baby Boomers retire.  Producing qualified teachers in these fields will be of upmost importance and this grant will assist us with this endeavor.”

Other colleges that quailed for the grant include Cabrillo College, Cerritos College, College of the Canyons, Grossmont College, Cypress College, El Camino College, Rio Hondo College, Saddleback College and City College of San Francisco.


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