Aiming to reduce teacher shortages

Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday signed legislation that creates a new community college pilot program and extends another one. (Photo: AP/Rich Pedroncelli)

California Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday signed a bill allowing aspiring teachers to take classes toward their credential on community college campuses in an effort to reduce teacher shortages.

Currently three-quarters of all school districts in the state report teacher shortages, and California expects the school-age population to grow by about 3 million over the next decade, said state Sen. Bill Dodd, a Democrat who introduced the bill.

“Community college campuses are well-suited to training more teachers, especially in underserved rural and urban communities,” said Dodd, who thanked Brown for supporting “this commonsense measure.”

Senate Bill 577 establishes the California Community College Teacher Credentialing Partnership Pilot Program. It authorizes three grants up to $500,000 to community colleges working in collaboration with accredited teacher-credentialing programs, such as those on California State University or University of California campuses. Priority will go toward partnerships in areas of the state suffering from shortages of K-12 teachers.

In recent years, the number of new credentialed teachers has remained flat, according to Dodd. Projections show more than 145,000 teachers in addition to standard teacher hiring will be needed in the next 10 years.

“We need to do a better job of attracting and retaining high quality teachers,” Dodd said.

Yuba Community College District Chancellor Douglas Houston said the legislation will help reduce the number of teachers working on emergency credentials in California.

“It is a very creative solution for addressing a critical shortage of teachers in our state,” Houston said. “I’m excited about the prospect of segments of higher education working collaboratively to address this need.”

Baccalaureate pilot program extended

Brown also on Thursday extended a pilot program allowing 15 community colleges to offer bachelor’s degrees in critical workforce areas through July 2026.

State Sen. Jerry Hill, who introduced the bill for the extension, said initially students taking baccalaureate programs at community colleges would have to earn their diplomas by the end of the 2022-23 academic year. Now they can now begin their bachelor’s degree program as late as the 2022-23 academic year.

Hill credited the advocacy efforts of Constance Carroll, chancellor of the San Diego Community College District.

This legislation and the pilot program’s ongoing success would not be possible without the tireless work of Chancellor Constance Carroll who has championed this effort for several years,” he said.

Baccalaureate programs can only be established at a California community college to meet regional workforce needs, and they cannot duplicate existing options at the state’s public universities. The first cohort of students earning bachelor’s degrees through the pilot program graduated this past spring in programs such as health information management (at San Diego Mesa College and Shasta College), industrial automation (Bakersfield College), dental hygiene (Foothill College and West Los Angeles College) and interaction design (Santa Monica College).

About the Author

Daily Staff
CCDaily is published by the American Association of Community Colleges.
The owner of this website has made a commitment to accessibility and inclusion, please report any problems that you encounter using the contact form on this website. This site uses the WP ADA Compliance Check plugin to enhance accessibility.