CSUB’s School of Social Sciences and Education Programs Awarded Grant

Two California State University, Bakersfield School of Social Sciences and Education (SSE) programs -- Special Education (SPED) and Child, Adolescent, and Family Studies (CAFS) -- were awarded a $250,000 grant to create a combined program. 

The grant award will support faculty to develop two different paths for the four-year Integrated Educational Specialist Credential Programs with a baccalaureate degree in CAFS at CSUB. The programs will allow students to complete a special education credential with a Bachelor's degree in CAFS within four years and a special education credential and an early childhood special education added authorization with a CAFS degree within four years and one semester. Both programs will be available at CSUB and the Antelope Valley campuses. It also would train more teacher candidates and help them obtain their degrees and credentials.

“Through the program, CSUB students will be able to obtain a bachelor of arts degree in CAFS and a special education teaching credential in four years,” said Dr. Yeunjoo Lee, Director and Professor of Special Education. “We hope to recruit high-quality special education teacher candidates through the program and alleviate a severe teacher shortage in special education in Kern County.

The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) indicates a continual decline in the number of special education teachers from 2011 to 2015. The supply for new teachers in California also is at a 12-year low, with enrollment in educator preparation programs having dropped by more than 70 percent over the last decade.

These programs would alleviate the shortage of special education teachers in the CSUB region and its surrounding areas. Candidates for the programs will have the opportunity to start in the classroom, if attending CSUB, and continue to develop their expertise through field experiences while completing their bachelor’s degree.

Target candidates for the planned programs are undergraduate or transfer students interested in obtaining an M/M(Mild/Moderate) and M/S (Moderate/Severe) Education Specialist credential, as well as a bachelor’s degree in CAFS. The faculty involved also will recruit paraprofessionals and classified staff in local high school districts. Also targeted for participation will be transfer students who state their desire to become special education teachers, as well as freshman and sophomore students.

With the assistance of the grant money, the school of SSE and its SPED and CAFS departments will be able to complete their planning process, develop assessments, and put the systems in place by the end of 2017. By Spring 2018, the program will begin accepting students and will continue to visit community colleges and high schools to recruit students. The program will be fully implemented by Fall 2018.

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