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Announcement | A Low-Cost, On-the-Job Pathway to Become a Credentialed Teacher in Alameda County, California

NEWS RELEASE


ALAMEDA COUNTY OFFICE OF EDUCATION & REACH UNIVERSITY PARTNER TO TRAIN HUNDREDS OF ASPIRING EDUCATORS TO BECOME TEACHERS


Partnership to address ongoing East Bay teacher vacancies by offering local educators a low-cost, paid pathway to earning a teaching credential.


(OAKLAND, California) – May 16, 2024 – The Alameda County Office of Education (ACOE), an agency that leads local, regional and statewide initiatives to innovatively address the most pressing needs of students and school districts, and Reach University, an Oakland-based, accredited nonprofit university dedicated to advancing job-embedded degrees and credentials, today announced a partnership to provide a low-cost, paid and on-the-job pathway to becoming a credentialed teacher. The partnership will support substitute teachers, emergency credential holders and aspiring educators in earning a single or multiple-subject teaching credential in line with the requirements of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

“ACOE and Reach University share a deeply-rooted mission to remove the historic barriers that have prevented so many diverse members of this community from becoming credentialed teachers,” said Alameda County Superintendent of Schools Alysse Castro. “From representation, to affordability and equitable access for all who aspire to become a teacher, this is the first step in a longer partnership vision to build what school districts have been crying out for – an inclusive teacher talent pipeline throughout the county. We are excited to be able to remove long standing hurdles for passionate regional educators to become the teachers we need in our schools.” 

To address regional teacher vacancies, the partnership will work closely with local schools to identify current and future grade- and subject-level teacher needs. The program will then train no less than 150 bachelor’s degree holders through Reach University’s graduate-level Intern Teacher Credential Program to meet specialized district vacancy needs. Rather than a traditional college campus, intern candidates will work in a local East Bay K-12 school as they complete Reach’s fully job-embedded program. Intern candidates will also have the option to obtain a Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) degree as part of the program.

“Together, Reach and its partners have a two-decade history of supporting the recruitment, training and professional development of more than 1,000 diverse California teachers and school leaders,” said Joe E. Ross, President of Reach University. “ACOE’s community-wide investment offers a blueprint for other county offices of education to build an inclusive paraprofessional-to-superintendent talent pipeline, while creating equitable career opportunities for residents in every part of the county. We are thrilled to further expand our partnership with ACOE to support an even greater number of representative educators ready to become qualified teachers.” 

To increase teacher credential affordability, ACOE and local school districts will sponsor nearly 95% of Reach’s recently reduced annual tuition cost of $7,500. This sponsorship applies to all program participants, and will result in a candidate’s expected out-of-pocket contribution of $500 annually or $42 per month for the duration of the two-year program. Program participants may also utilize the California Student Aid Commission’s Golden State Teacher Grant Program, which allocates up to $20,000 in free grants, to cover costs associated with the credential program. 

“Today’s announcement is one part of a multi-pronged effort to produce educators who are skilled at providing culturally responsive instruction to students throughout Alameda County,” said Kirstin Bijur, ACOE’s Chief of Educator Effectiveness. “ACOE’s vision is to make it possible for community members to become teachers through low-cost credentialing programs, with a shared commitment to every child in their care progressing toward standards every day.”

Reach University’s newest partnership with ACOE expands upon its East Bay K-12 footprint, where it serves paraprofessionals-to-administrative leaders with job-embedded career training, development and progression. As of spring 2024, Reach has PK-12 district partners across 16 California counties and approximately 300 enrolled undergraduate and graduate candidates. 

“Reach made it possible to earn a teaching credential through a flexible program that provided tangible experiences that could be immediately applied to my time in the classroom," said Raegina Rose Mafnas, a 2022 Reach University graduate and teacher in the Oakland Unified School District. “I am really thankful to Reach for helping to refine my practice and become a STEM-qualified teacher with a community of mentorship and support. Educators work so hard to create a more inclusive and positive outcome for their students, and I am thrilled to welcome a greater swath of diverse educators from the East Bay to join me in a profession that will challenge, reward and inspire them each and every day.”

To be eligible for the program, prospective candidates must meet intern program admission requirements, such as having 45 hours of prior experience working with students or youth in a classroom and having secured a teaching position at a Reach partner K-12 district in Alameda County, such as Oakland Unified School District. An offer of employment must be submitted as part of the candidate’s admissions application. 


Eligible Alameda County-based educators are encouraged to apply for the Fall ‘24 academic year and beyond. Applications for Fall ‘24 will be accepted through June 30, 2024.  To learn more about Reach’s teacher credential program, please see eligibility criteria here. To indicate your interest in participating, and to join an upcoming info session, please sign-up here.


Photo credit: Alameda County Office of Education Download the full announcement:

[For Release] ACOE & Reach University_Intern Credential Alliance_Announcement_05.16.24
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ABOUT REACH UNIVERSITY

Oakland-based Reach University is a regionally-accredited, nonprofit university dedicated to advancing job-embedded degrees and credentials. Reach is actively solving America's teacher shortage by creating fully-embedded pathways for high-potential individuals to earn degrees, credentials and jobs as teachers within their own communities. By focusing on low-income, urban and rural regions, offering online tutorials and classes, and rendering academic credit for on-the-job experience, Reach University is eliminating barriers to entry in high-need professions, and building untapped pipelines of locally representative talent. Beyond California, Reach University also operates in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.


ABOUT ALAMEDA COUNTY OFFICE OF EDUCATION

The Alameda County Office of Education (ACOE), under the leadership of County Superintendent of Schools Alysse Castro, serves as liaison between the California Department of Education and the 18 Alameda County public school districts that serve more than 211,000 students and 11,000 teachers. ACOE provides oversight of district budgets and Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAPs). ACOE also directly operates schools that serve Alameda County's most vulnerable students: Court Schools at the Juvenile Justice Center, ACOE Opportunity Academy schools serving students 16 and older seeking a high school diploma, and Community Schools that serve foster youth, students in substance abuse treatment, parenting teens, Probation-referred youth, and students expelled from their resident school districts. ACOE also runs the Infant and Family Support Program, which provides individualized service for children from birth to three years and their families. For more information, visit www.acoe.org.


Media Inquiries:

For Reach University

Lauren Bauml

(512) 923-6136


For Alameda County Office of Education

Neetu Balram

(510) 432-8212


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