UCR Extension Grant Will Fund Professional Development for Teachers

Teachers in Riverside, Orange, San Diego and Imperial counties can apply for a piece of the $1 million grant

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) -- UC Riverside Extension recently received a $1 million grant that will fund $30,000 professional development grants for teachers over a two-year period in Riverside, Orange, San Diego and Imperial counties.

Groups of three to five elementary, middle and high school teachers at public, private and charter schools teaching in all subject areas are eligible for the grants. Possible uses for the money include paying for conferences, instructional materials and classes, such as the more than 800 offered at UCR Extension Education Department.

“At a time when there is no money for professional development, teachers are going to be empowered to do it,” said Sue Teele, associate dean and director of education programs at UCR Extension, who wrote the grant and will serve as the principal investigator on it.

For professional development to be successful it needs to be sustained, not a one-shot deal, Teele said. That’s increasingly difficult when a
California Department of Education survey in April and May found 30 percent of school districts have cut professional development budgets.

The UCR Extension grant for $1,010,000, called the South Region Teacher-Based Reform Initiative, is for three years and comes from the California Postsecondary Education Commission.

Grants will be awarded to 24 groups of teachers. They will receive up to $15,000 during both the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years.

During the final year of the grant, the 2013-14 school year, results will be analyzed. Anne Jones, director of teacher education at the UCR Graduate School of Education, will lead that process.

UCR Extension is one of two sites in the state to receive the grant this year. California State University, Chico received the other grant. Groups of teachers in San Bernardino County and 32 other counties can apply for funding through California State University, Chico.

Last year, the first time the grant was offered, UCLA and UC Davis were awarded grants. Teele said competition among teachers for that money was intense. For example, about 175 groups applied for funding from UCLA, she said.

UCR Extension will put out a request for proposals from teachers on Nov. 15. The proposals will be due sometime between Feb. 15 and March 1, Teele said. The awardees will be announced April 15.

Proposals from teachers must address school-based reform and English-language learners and/or special needs children. Teachers will need to outline a timeline, action plan and budget and will need letters of support from their principal and district office. Also, the lead teacher in each group must have at least three years of teaching experience.

There are a couple restrictions. The money cannot be used to get a master’s degree or to travel internationally.

UCR Extension is the continuing education and professional studies branch of UCR. It operates independently as a nonprofit division of UCR.

UC Extension Education offers 800 courses in 28 certificate programs, and 22 state-approved credential programs, to nearly 10,000 educators annually.

The certificate programs include: Advanced Placement; Autism Spectrum Disorders; Response to Intervention (RTI); Multiple Intelligences; Early Childhood Biliteracy/Dual Immersion; and Gifted and Talented Education Programs (GATE).

The state-approved credential programs include: Reading Certificate; Reading and Language Arts Specialist Credential; Education Specialist, Level II Mild/Moderate and Moderate/Severe; Clear Credential for Multiple and Single Subject Teaching Credentials; and Authorizations in Mathematics, Science, English, Autism and Computer Concepts and Applications.

For more information contact: Annette Webb at awebb@ucx.ucr.edu or 951-827-1653 or Sue Teele at steele@ucx.ucr.edu.

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