Rural Teachers Pathway, Butte County
Chico Rural Teacher Pathway
Chico Rural Teacher Pathway (CRTP) targets sixty 17- and 18-year-old low-income youth at risk of gang involvement in Butte County, with a particular focus on high-need/high-risk communities. Participants receive basic skills remediation and community college instruction leading toward AA/AS degrees aligned with the requirements of CSU, Chico’s BA/BS and teacher credentialing program.
CRTP project director Dr. Al Schademan says, “I am hoping that the program can contribute to the diversity of students entering Chico State’s credential programs. We need more teachers who reflect the cultures, races and ethnicities of your increasingly diverse K-12 students.”
The program is in its second year. “We had an overwhelming response to our outreach and recruitment efforts for our second cohort. We received applications from 60 students, and have had to turn students away. I think that says a lot about our program and its reputation throughout Butte County”, says Dr. Schademan.
Students who complete the first steps of the program will receive 60 hours of after-school youth worker training and be placed in employment in local after-school programs, which will provide financial support and career-relevant work experience as they pursue the longer-term teaching credential program. They are organized in learning communities and assigned a student support specialist to provide in-class support, group coaching and support, individual academic and job preparation coaching, and support service referrals.
Dr. Schademan says there are many contributors to CRTP’s success. “The program involves collaborating with multiple partners throughout Butte County and the State to create a program for students who really need the support. To pull off something this large, you cannot do it alone and the people that I work with are amazing! And it’s very rewarding to see our wonderful students succeed in making progress towards their career goal of becoming a teacher.”
Dr. Schademan, who is an assistant professor at CSU, Chico’s School of Education, says, “Collaborating with RESP and the CME grants office on this project has been great, especially their help with the budgets. Another challenge for me, since the grant has so many different partners and aspects, is balancing my work in the grant with my other responsibilities as a professor. But the rewards have been worth it!”
He continues, “One thing that I have learned over the years is to surround yourself with dedicated people and provide them with the guidance, resources, space and agency to do their jobs well. I take this approach when working with our student support specialists and with our partners. It has served the CRTP well, as we have been very successful without me having to micro-manage what everyone is doing.”
CRTP’s primary funder is the California Labor Workforce Development Agency, and additional funding has been secured from Growth Sector for a Summer STEM Institute during the summer of 2012. In addition to taking the course, students will teach inquiry-based lessons at after school sites in order to raise their comfort level with teaching and encourage them to pursue a career in STEM education. They will be tutored by Math and Science Initiative (MSTI) students from CSU, Chico.