Campus: CSU Long Beach -- April 14, 2003
CSULB Center for Language Minority Education,
Research Receives $1.4 Million Grant from U.S. Department of Education
The Center for Language Minority Education and Research (CLMER) at California
State University, Long Beach has been awarded a $1.45 million grant
from the U.S. Department of Education for a joint project with the Long
Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) to improve the professional preparation
of teachers working with English language learners.
Titled the “Long Beach Collaborative for English Language Learner
Success,” the five-year project will provide tuition stipends,
flexible certification courses and innovative coaching and mentoring
support to address specific teacher professional development needs and
help project participants attain their California Cross-Cultural Language
and Academic Development (CLAD) certification to work with diverse English-language
“The most important aspect of this project is that teachers will
receive the sustained support needed to engage in authentic, substantive
changes to their classroom teaching and learning practices in ways that
promote success for English learners,” said Kevin Rocap, CLMER’s
director of programs and development and project director.
LBUSD is the third largest district in California and the 35th largest
in the nation. In 2001, the district’s K-12 enrollment was 96,488,
and currently 78.8 percent of those enrolled are racial and/or ethnic
“minorities.” That proportion is increasing within the district
at a rate of about 2 percent per year.
In Long Beach, one in three students (31,000-plus) is classified as
limited English proficient, and the largest non-English primary languages
are Spanish (26,046), Khmer (3,488), Pilipino (357) and Vietnamese (357).
Finding and preparing qualified teachers able to serve this population
is a problem for Long Beach as well as other communities in the country
experiencing demographic shifts.
“Our goal is to work with a group of about 25 teachers per year
for each of the five years of the project to ultimately have 125 teachers
who get their appropriate CLAD authorization,” Rocap noted. “That
number of prepared and qualified teachers will go a long way toward
addressing the needs of Long Beach Unified’s English language
Rocap said the program will use a distributed learning model that will
incorporate a mixture of on-line and off-line activities within the
courses as well as face-to-face and on-line professional development
learning communities. At the same time, project administrators will
take a look at course content with a view of its direct application
in the classroom.
As a result, there will be an emphasis in applying the skills and knowledge
gained through coursework in each teacher’s classroom, according
to Rocap. He also noted that there will be a strong component of coaching
and mentoring from course instructors, CLMER staff members and district-
and site-level coaches designated within the Long Beach district.
“We want to look at what we know from research and from practice
are optimal ways to work with diverse English language learners and
create courses that are more tied to the realities of classroom practice,”
Rocap explained. “A lot of the practices and performances will
be expected to take place in the teachers’ classrooms so that
they have a direct impact on the students.
“But, the teachers won’t be doing it without support,”
he added. “They will be doing it with the support of staff and
instructors from CLMER working in collaboration with the district-level
coaches and mentors and the site coaches and mentors. That’s what
is really unique about this particular proposal.”
Project officials see the communication and collaboration as a two-way
street in that they are expecting that teachers’ realities in
the classroom will inform CLMER researchers of what works and why for
different classrooms as it pertains to helping English language learners