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What it do with Lue

CEIS to Tap $1.1 Million Grant to Fund Scholarships for Special Ed Teachers

POMONA, CA- The College of Education & Integrative Studies (CEIS) has received a $1.1 million federal grant to help alleviate the shortage of special education teachers in Southern California.

The U.S. Department of Education grant will offer full-tuition scholarships for new post- baccalaureate students wishing to pursue their first teaching credential in moderate/severe special education or adapted physical education authorization and their master’s degrees in special education or adapted physical education. The grant will potentially fund 63 scholarships over the course of five years.

“This award will enable Cal Poly Pomona to provide much needed scholarships to students pursuing careers in education, specifically those wanting to work with youths with special needs,” University President Soraya M. Coley said. “The funding also will give the university an opportunity to assist with a persistent problem that has had a significant impact across the state— the shortage of special education teachers.”

Students also will receive funding for textbooks, professional conference attendance and technology for use in the program and future use in their classrooms. In addition, the experience will be transdisciplinary for students and include work across the education and adapted physical education programs to mimic the professional collaboration they will experience once they are teachers.

Currently, 49 of 50 states in the U.S. report special education teacher shortages, including California,” said Heather Wizikowski, project director and assistant professor in CEIS. “Fifty- one percent of districts nationally and 90 percent of high-poverty area districts report having difficulty attracting quality special education teachers. In addition, special education teachers leave the profession at almost double the rate of general education teachers after just a few years of teaching. California desperately needs quality teachers to teach students with disabilities.

According to the California Department of Education, teacher education enrollment in special education has rapidly declined over the past several years. Enrollment went from 36,577 in 2009 to 18,894 in 2014.

“Special education teacher shortages compounded by declining enrollment in credential programs have been a pressing issue in our region over the past few years,” said Joanne Van Boxtel, co-director and assistant professor in CEIS. “I am very excited to be working with a dedicated team of colleagues on a project that will be of such benefit to future special education teachers and our regional district partners.”

In addition to increasing the number of new special education teachers, the project also seeks to prepare fully credentialed adapted physical educators to teach physical education to students with disabilities. According to California law, physical education must be accessible to students with disabilities who qualify for special education services.

“Adapted physical education services are needed to assist students with disabilities,” said Beth Foster, co-director and assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology & Health Promotion. “Successful inclusion is far more complicated than placing the students in that setting. The placement and service of physical education must be based on the students’ unique needs.”

The new grant coincides with a previous grant obtained by Van Boxtel and Wizikowski, along with Christina Chavez-Reyes, liberal studies department chair, to design a new undergraduate program called the Integrated Teacher Education Program (ITEP). ITEP offers a combined bachelor’s degree and credential program for students desiring an education specialist credential. According to Van Boxtel, the program will feature inclusive practices for students with disabilities, innovative technology and tools, and early field experiences. Students can graduate with their degrees and teaching credential in only four years. ITEP enrollment begins Fall 2018.

“I am thrilled that CEIS will be able to better serve the children and families of this region who deserve the very best educational experiences that address the needs of students with disabilities,” said CEIS Dean Jeff Passe.”

For more information about either program, email hewizikowski@cpp.edu or jmvanboxtel@cpp.edu.

Project Boon’s 6th Annual Eat and Be Well Thanksgiving Event to Serve Food, Health Services to the Inland Empire’s Underserved Communities

FONTANA, CA- Thanksgiving is a time for family, reflecting on what we have been blessed with, and giving back. On Wednesday, November 22, the day before the annual turkey feast, local non-profit Project Boon and over 25 other local businesses, non-profits and government organizations will be teaming up in Fontana’s Seville Park to help give thanks and bring the spirit of the season to the Inland Empire’s underserved communities.

Beginning at 11 a.m. and running until 3 p.m., the 6th Annual Eat and Be Well event will provide Inland Empire families in need with a traditional Thanksgiving meal, access to health services and fun and entertainment for the whole family to enjoy.

“I love volunteering at Eat & Be Well,” said Lisa Flores, an Account Executive at Firm Media in Ontario, California, one of the event sponsors. “Every year there are so many attendees, especially kids, all happy to enjoy a holiday meal together. It’s a very rewarding experience.”

With a goal of serving up to 2,500 attendees, Eat & Be Well has relied on more than 700 volunteers since its inception six years ago. Additionally, Eat & Be Well, which is run by a steering committee, spends 5 months planning for the holiday event, and coordinating with local businesses for food and health services donations like free flu shots, bus passes to travel to the event and haircuts.

For more information on how to volunteer, donate, sponsor, or attend, visit eatbewell.org.

Race in America: The Elephant in Everybody’s Room

Terrence Roberts, PhD, Keynote Speaker, Race & Racism, Redlands 1st United Methodist Church. (Photo credit: John Coleman/Community Photographer)

Terrence Roberts, PhD, Keynote Speaker, Race & Racism, Redlands 1st United Methodist Church. (Photo credit: John Coleman/Community Photographer)

By John Coleman

REDLANDS, CA- United Methodist Church in Redlands led an interesting discussion on Race in America, which was held on Wednesday, November 8. Terrence Roberts led the discussion with a presentation about his early childhood years as a Black child growing up in America. He recalled being scarcely aware of the hurtful attitudes and behaviors of White people towards Black people. He felt safe within this home where he ran and played and enjoyed the joys that childhood had to offer. Early on as a child he was taught to be good, develop a strong internal sense of himself, and to get a good education.

However, outside of the home it was a different story. Roberts became aware of difficulties for Black people surviving in in a racist, legally structured system and in state like Mississippi or Arkansas, where laws are written by White people for enforcement on Blacks, such as the 1896 U.S. Supreme Court decision, known as “Separate but Equal,” while only a few men who wrote the U.S. Constitution were slave holders, all firmly believed in the superiority of European people over all others. This all began almost from the earliest years of the European invasions of the America more than 330 years ago.

Dr. Roberts proceeded to note post WWII changes in society that began to affect or address concepts of race or racism in the structure of life in America.

In his school years, Roberts began attending the public schools of Little Rock, Arkansas, which under Arkansas laws required Black students to attend public schools that were separate from, but failing to be equal to public schools attended by white students.  This situation was well recognized and sometimes contested by Black people in Arkansas.  White parents and their children were less aware, concerned, or opposed.

In 1954, The U.S. Supreme Court reversed the 1896 “Plessy v Fergusson”  (Separate But Equal) Decision, with the “Brown v. Topeka Board of Education” Decision & ruled that separation (segregation) was inherently unequal, and thus in violation of the US Constitution. White parents, students, school officials, community leaders, and white society-at-large were outraged and organized opposition efforts.

Black students in still segregated Arkansas public schools organized and attempted to enroll in Little Rock High School. Over 300 teen-agers volunteered to participate, but only nine (9) were selected.

Arkansas Governor, Orval Faubus ordered the Arkansas National Guard to prevent the students from their attending LRHS, but U.S. President Eisenhower nationalized the Guard and ordered them & USArmy  soldiers to protect the students’ constitutional rights. A soldier was assigned to protect each student, day and night, but abuse and mistreatment continued all year.

Terrence Roberts, then 13-years-old, was among the selected students who became known as the “Little Rock Nine.”  They were confronted by hostile, and violent crowds before and after school all year and behind the scenes in-school hostility and abuse from white students also persisted. However, Roberts commended quiet support and aid from White heroes, students and teachers, who were targeted, threatened and abused if they appeared to encourage and/or support the “Little Rock Nine.”  He specially appreciated the white student who defying white hysteria shared her textbooks, notes, and other class materials with him after his were ripped from him and destroyed.

Parents lost their jobs.  They and many others in the Black community suffered injury and other loss. Many others who carried the de-segregation campaign across America, like the “Little Rock Nine,” were teenage youth and their parents.

Governor Faubus cancelled all Arkansas high schools for the 1958-59 school year.

Terrence Roberts’ family moved to California where he completed high school,  earned a BA from Cal State University, LA; a Masters in Social Work from USC, and his  PhD from Southern Illinois University.   (This “Boy”  really ‘got’ his education!)