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Sac State, city schools provide help for teachers



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Sacramento Bee: "Courses for laid-off or new teachers emphasize math, science"

The first classes designed to help elementary and middle school teachers who need additional certification and laid-off instructors who want to keep their credential current are under way at Sacramento State.

The classes are part of a new program offered by the University and the Sacramento City Unified School District under a $300,000 grant from the SD Bechtel Jr. Foundation. The program, coordinated by Sacramento State Professor Pia Wong, helps teachers earn supplemental credentials in mathematics and science fields. And it helps laid-off instructors stay up-to-date on their certificate while out of the classroom.

The students/teachers gathered in Sequoia Hall last week for a physics class conducted by Professor Lynn Tashiro. Before instruction began, they were greeted by University President Alexander Gonzalez, SCUSD Superintendent Jonathan Raymond, College of Education Associate Dean Karen Davis-O’Hara, Sacramento City Teachers Association President Scott Smith and other representatives from the University and the school district.

“This is a terrific example of how educational partners can work together to benefit students and the region,” said Gonzalez. “It is very clear that 21st century students must be well grounded in science and mathematics. Those courses are the foundation for productive careers in areas such as business, health care, engineering and computer science.”

“We have to do everything we can to invest in our people, and that’s why I think this program has been so exciting for us,” said Raymond.

Student Mai Yang teaches seventh-grade life science at Rio Linda Preparatory Academy. “Without this resource, I would have to take individual courses to complete a supplemental authorization, and that could take years,” she said.

Courses are conducted by Sacramento State’s College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, College of Education and College of Continuing Education.

Additional support for the project comes from the Sacramento Employment Training Agency, the Workforce Investment Board and the Math/Science Teacher Initiative of the California State University Chancellor’s Office.

For media assistance, call Sacramento State’s Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156.

– Craig Koscho