Foundation Receives Boeing Grants for Teacher Preparation Program
Funds will Enable Training of Math & Science Teachers for Children with Special Needs
For Immediate Release: November 21, 2007
Media Contact: Allison Abel, Public Affairs; (562) 860-2451, ext. 2287
NORWALK, CA – November 21, 2007 – Cerritos College recently obtained several grants from The Boeing Company to continue the TeacherTRAC Special Education Partnership (SETuP) at Cerritos College, as well as support science instruction for local K-12 students through a partnership with Team Science.
Totaling $20,000, the SETuP grants will completely fund the program for another year, and also provide scholarships for students who participate.
The SETuP program addresses a pressing problem in education: a special education workforce that’s underprepared to provide instruction in math and science, which are typically some of the most difficult subjects for these students to grasp.
“The necessity of having teachers specially trained to teach these students is beginning to be widely recognized,” said Steve Chesser, senior community relations representative for Boeing. “SETuP is among the front-runners in taking steps to meet this need, and the graduates that come through SETuP will be well-prepared to meet the challenge.”
Students in the SETuP program will intern in inclusive classrooms during the
2007-08 school year, providing math and science tutoring for children with special needs, such as developmentally disabled children, English language learners, children with autism, and others.
“Boeing has been a true partner in helping us prepare students to fill a much-needed role in our local schools,” said Steve Richardson, executive director of the Cerritos College Foundation. “The learning opportunities that these grants provide will give future teachers an excellent training ground, which will have a ripple effect into the greater community.”
As a part of the SETuP program, students will be mentored by master teachers. This mentorship component will ensure that classroom learning is integrated with practical, real-life experience, giving students excellent preparation for their future careers. In addition, interns will attend professional workshops and conferences focusing on special education, mathematics and science.
The grants will also facilitate the continued development of the teacher preparation pathways put in place in by TeacherTRAC. These pathways are facilitated by partnerships between CSU Long Beach, Cerritos College and its feeder schools in the ABC, Bellflower, Downey, Norwalk-La Mirada and Paramount school districts, providing a support structure for future teachers from high school all the way through their graduation and credentialing.
Boeing also provided a $10,000 grant to Team Science, an organization which has partnered with the Cerritos College Foundation to bring supplemental science instruction to children in the community. The grant will be used to support the Saturday Science Academy, a continuation of the Summer Science Camp which was created to expand interest in science among K-12 students. With the recently obtained funds, the Academy will hold four workshops at various schools in the area, giving students exciting, hands-on opportunities to explore topics such as astronomy and electronics.
“Our goal is to reach kids as young as possible, because statistics are showing that they are tuning out as early as third and fourth grade,” said Marie Mungaray, who oversees the program. “Hopefully, students who participate in the Saturday Science Academy will develop an interest in science, and perhaps one day participate in programs such as TeacherTRAC’s SETuP.”
The Cerritos College Foundation, a non-profit organization, serves as a charitable vehicle for the community, individuals and alumni, to assist with financial support of Cerritos College beyond that which state funding supports. Visit the Foundation online at www.cerritos.edu/ccf.
Cerritos College serves as a comprehensive community college for southeastern Los Angeles County. Communities within the college’s district include Artesia, Bellflower, Cerritos, Downey, Hawaiian Gardens, La Mirada, Norwalk, and portions of Bell Gardens, Lakewood, Long Beach, Santa Fe Springs and South Gate. Cerritos College offers degrees and certificates in more than 200 areas of study in nine divisions. Annually, more than 1,200 students successfully complete their course of studies, and enrollment currently averages more than 20,000 students. Visit Cerritos College online at www.cerritos.edu.