Campus: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo -- June 15, 2005

Cal Poly Receives a $50,000 Grant to Develop Online Courses for Arts Educators

Cal Poly has received a $50,000 state grant to help K-12 teachers use the arts in their classrooms.

The California State University Commission on the Extended University awarded the grant to Cal Poly Continuing Education and University Outreach and the university's Liberal Studies Department.

The funding will enable the two campus entities and the Cal Poly College of Liberal Arts Central Coast Center for Arts Education to team up to develop and offer six online professional development courses for teachers starting winter quarter 2006.

The arts in education courses now being developed will be created specifically for new teachers, teaching artists and practicing teachers who want to upgrade skills and knowledge in arts education, said Susan Duffy, the project's co-director and chair of the Liberal Studies Department.

"Courses for arts educators are critically needed in California," Duffy said. "Arts education has suffered in our K-12 educational system for decades. California ranks last in the nation in funding for arts in education, with $0.03 spent per child per year."

"This program will strengthen teachers' abilities to offer students quality arts programs," said Cal Poly Continuing Education and University Outreach Dean of Continuing Education Dennis "Skip" Parks, co-director of the project.

The online courses are currently being developed, and will be taught by Cal Poly faculty. The courses will include text reading and response activities, video-streaming of lessons filmed at Cal Poly and at various school sites, and teleconferencing. The length of each course will vary.

The online format of the courses will allow for close instructor-to-student and student-to-student interaction, Duffy said.

After the $50,000 grant is concluded, the university will offer the professional development courses as a through Cal Poly Continuing Education and University Outreach.

Contact: Margo Camilleri, Cal Poly Continuing Education and University Outreach, 805-756-7136;

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