Campus: CSU Northridge -- July 23, 2004
Keck Foundation Awards CSUN $300,000 for Innovative New
The W. M. Keck Foundation has awarded Cal State Northridge $300,000
over the next two years for an innovative new program that puts K-12
teachers in the university's arts and sciences classrooms so that the
teachers, CSUN students and faculty can work together to better prepare
The overall goal of the W.M. Keck Teachers-in-Residence Project is to
bridge the gap between theory and practice in teacher education programs,
and to strengthen active collaborations between K-12 teachers and university
arts and sciences faculty in order to develop a new generation of teachers
who are prepared to support student success in K-12 classrooms. This
is believed to be the first university-wide program of its kind in the
"The Keck gift enables Cal State Northridge to continue to be at
the forefront of innovation in teacher education, and reinforces that
teacher preparation is a university-wide responsibility at CSUN,"
said Philip J. Rusche, dean of the university's Michael D. Eisner College
"More importantly," Rusche said, "the gift enhances both
the university and local schools by having school faculty share their
knowledge with our faculty, and take what they have learned back to
their home schools."
The teachers-in-residence project will become part of the Teachers for
a New Era initiative currently taking place on the Northridge campus.
Cal State Northridge, a leading producer of teachers among public institutions
in California, was one of only four universities nationwide initially
tapped by the Carnegie Corporation of New York to take part in the landmark
initiative designed to strengthen K-12 teaching by developing state-of-the-art
programs at schools of education. A final total of 11 institutions are
now involved in a consortium that will work together over the next few
years to create and disseminate new models of a more effective approach
to teacher education. Rusche said the Keck Teachers-in-Residence Project
significantly adds to the TNE initiative.
The project will bring K-12 master teachers onto the campus as teachers-
in-residence within the arts and sciences departments of the university.
Education reform leaders point to studies that indicate a strong background
in the arts and sciences can help teachers build the bridge between
subject and pedagogy for their students.
The teachers will have an opportunity to teach, research, supervise
student teachers, and engage in formal and informal ongoing discussions
with the university's faculty about the realities of teaching in today's
urban classroom. Built into the project is the flexibility for the teachers-in-residence
to explore further opportunities of involvement on campus, from reviewing
and informing the content of exit exams to team teaching and admissions.
"Faculty throughout the campus see the value of having teachers
in their classrooms, and look forward to having them as co-faculty in
their departments," Rusche said.
Rusche said he has been especially pleased with the reaction of arts
and sciences faculty to the teachers-in-residence project.
"No matter how well prepared we are at the university level, we
are not always knowledgeable about what teachers currently do on a daily
basis," he said. "This is going to be helpful in getting us
to look at our programs and change them to better meet the needs of
The W.M. Keck Foundation is one of the nation's largest philanthropic
organizations. Established in 1954 by the late W. M. Keck, founder of
The Superior Oil Company, the foundation's grant making is focused primarily
on pioneering efforts in the areas of medical research, science, and
engineering. The foundation also maintains a program to support undergraduate
science and humanities education and a Southern California Grant Program
that provides support in the areas of health care, civic and community
services, education and the arts, with a special emphasis on children.
Cal State Northridge annually recommends more candidates for credentials
than any other California State University campus, and more than all
of the University of California campuses combined. With a student body
of approximately 33,000, about 8,000 of its students are aspiring educators
or current educators pursuing further studies.
As the project develops, Cal State Northridge officials plan to pass
on what they learn from the W.M. Keck Teacher-in-Residence Model to
the more than 1,200 teacher preparation colleges and universities across
Contact: Carmen Ramos Chandler (818) 677-2130, firstname.lastname@example.org