About the Fellowship
Why Does Partners in Education Support Future Teachers?
Over the past seventeen years, PIE has awarded more than 250 fellowships, totaling over $1 millon to Cal Poly Pomona teacher candidates. Many in the public believe we have a surplus of teachers because we have heard about the thousands of layoff notices issued each March. What the public does not hear is that most of these notices are rescinded in August as school budgets become finalized, acknowledging the fact that every teaching position is essential and cannot be spared. PIE supports future teachers for some of the following reasons:
- Students seeking a teaching credential must work full time in a classroom for 15 weeks.
- Today's elementary and high school students will enter a knowledge-based economy and far too many are not proficient in English language arts and mathematics.
- The quality of teaching is the most important factor in student learning.
- A large number of teachers retiring is imminent but the number of teachers being credentialed each year in California continues to decline.
Students seeking a teaching credential must work full time for 15 weeks under the supervision of an experienced teacher in order to apply for a credential. Most students in the credential program work more than 20 hours a week to support themselves. Giving up a job to finish their credential work is an economic hardship. Thus, PIE created a fellowship program that allows students to focus on their supervised teaching assignments without worrying about how the bills will be paid.
The economy of California has changed from an industrial-based economy to a knowledge-based economy. Students who enter today's economy without sufficient technical skills and knowledge are doomed to a life in the lower economic levels of society. We are making progress in student proficiency in math and language arts. Proficiency is defined as performing at grade level.
The quality of teaching is the second most important factor in student learning. There are two major factors that affect student learning: family background and the quality of teaching in the classroom. PIE seeks to enhance the learning future teachers acquire in their teacher preparation programs which ultimately translates to higher quality teaching in K-12 classrooms.
There are major shortages of teachers qualified to teach in the fields of mathematics, science, and special education. In some regions of our state, mainly inland counties, schools have trouble hiring and retaining fully qualified teachers in mathematics, science, and special education. Schools populated primarily with Latino or African-American children are more likely to have lesser experienced and non-credentialed teachers. Fellowships provided by PIE and other organizations will encourage students to pursue a teaching career.
**Information used in this article was provided by the California Council on Science and Technology and The Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning.