Campus: Bakersfield -- May 26, 2006

CSUB Receives Major Grant

California State University, Bakersfield has been chosen to receive funding for a new project aimed at advancing preschool-teacher education.

CSUB has been awarded a $787,552 grant from First 5 Kern for the Early Childhood Education: Advancement in Preschool Learning, Leadership, and Education program. It is designed for current preschool teachers or administrators who wish to obtain their associate's, bachelor's, or master's degrees. This will be a grant that is funded for two years beginning July 1.

"We're trying to assist professionals in the field who want to continue their education," said Christie Howell, CSUB child, adolescent, and family studies professor. The grant pays fees for cohorts of 30 students at CSUB, Bakersfield College, Cerro Coso College, and Taft College. Howell said the first set of cohorts would start this fall and another will start in fall 2007.

The students must work 20 hours a week in the field and declare it to be their career goal. In addition they must apply for financial aid to help pay for books, parking, and other incidental costs.

Howell said a full-time project director will be hired to help advise the students and work with advisors at the community colleges to assure the students have a "seamless transfer" to CSUB.

First 5 Kern was developed after California voters passed Proposition 10 in Nov. 1998 and the Legislature codified the Proposition as the California Children and Families Act of 1998. This initiative added a 50-cent per pack tax on cigarettes, added an equivalent tax increase on distributed tobacco products, and created a trust fund for the revenues collected. Revenues are used to fund local health, childcare and education programs that promote early childhood development for children ages prenatal to 5. The focus on these years is based on current early brain development research where it has been shown that the early years of life are critical developmental years.

Mike Stepanovich, 661/654-2456,
Jaclyn Loveless, 661/654-2138,

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