Campus: San Josť State University -- May 22, 2001

SJSU Provides Training For U.S. Corps Of Teachers

San Josť State University has been chosen to be a major provider of teacher training to college graduates from throughout the nation who donít have teaching credentials, but are committed to teaching in some of the Bay Areaís lowest performing schools.

The students are part of Teach for America (TFA), a non-profit organization of recent, high-achieving college graduates who commit themselves to teach in under-funded urban and rural U.S. schools for two years.

SJSUís College of Education provides the one-year training through APEX, an accelerated credentialing program that offers classes in the afternoon, evenings and on weekends in the school district where the TFA corps members teach. Some teachers pursue a masterís degree in their second year of affiliation with TFA.

Commenting on the partnership between SJSU and TFA, Amika Maran, TFA program director for the Bay Area, says, "SJSUís APEX coordinators have made an excellent effort in providing effective faculty members who are simply amazing." Other teacher training programs aimed at teachers on the job, she said, "have not had as many positive remarks or success with regards to quality training and retention."

Fifteen TFA corps members teaching in the Ravenswood School District in East Palo Alto and the Alum Rock School District in San Jose will complete the credential program this summer, according to Cindy Sammet, APEX program coordinator. She expects 40 or more new students to enroll in the program in the fall.

The SJSU/TFA partnership is modeled after a similar program between TFA and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md.

Last year the 10-year-old TFA program enrolled about 1,000 individuals who reached more than 100,000 students in 15 different locations around the United States. New corps members undergo a five-week training program sponsored by TFA before stepping into a classroom. The on-site program provided by SJSU gives TFA teachers more extensive teaching training.

School districts employing TFA teachers pay them as regular beginning teachers. The TFA organization also provides an annual stipend of $4,700, which corps members may utilize for college expenses.

About 60 percent of TFA corps members remain directly involved in schools and education, either as administrators and teachers, or as students pursing masters degrees in education.

For more information about the TFA program, call (650) 933-5655.

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