San Diego State University program latest to take aim at preparing more diverse, bilingual teachers

Source: EdSource

Working with three nearby community colleges, San Diego State University is launching a training program aimed at increasing the number of Latino and bilingual teachers in California.

Beginning next year, San Diego City College, Southwestern College and San Diego Mesa College — each with significant Latino student populations — will send 100 students annually to San Diego State’s bilingual credentials program, which prepares teachers to teach in bilingual K-12 classrooms. Students who participate in the partnership, announced last month and supported by a $3.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, will receive stipends to cover some costs, such as books, exam registration fees and professional development opportunities, but not tuition.

“Those high expectations combined with the right support can have really significant impacts on students’ learning and growth,” said Elisha Smith Arrillaga, executive director of The Education Trust–West, an education advocacy group.

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Karla Fernandez

Communications Manager

Karla Fernandez (she/her/hers) joins Ed Trust–West as a Communications Manager with over 11 years of experience advancing social impact initiatives.

Karla started her career as a teacher at Chicago Public Schools and UIC College Prep. After teaching, Karla joined United Friends of the Children to support LA County’s youth in foster care as a college counselor. Through Leadership for Educational Equity, Karla also served as a Policy Advisor Fellow for the office of a Los Angeles Unified School Board Member. She solidified her interests in policy analysis and quantitative research during her time with the Price Center for Social Innovation, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, and the USC Presidential Working Group on Sustainability. Before joining The Education Trust–West, Karla was the Associate Director for the Southeast Los Angeles (SELA) Collaborative, a network of nonprofits advocating for communities in SELA.

Karla holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from the University of Chicago, a Master of Public Policy from the USC Price School of Public Policy, and a Graduate Certificate in Policy Advocacy from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Karla is based out of southern California and is passionate about using data analysis, communications, and digital strategies for policy advocacy and social justice efforts.