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Fresno State Earns National Honors for Teacher Training

FRESNO, CA — The national spotlight is on teacher training and employee development programs at Fresno State. The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) announced recently that Fresno State University won two awards for excellence and innovation.

Fresno State’s Central Valley Partnership for Exemplary Education, also known as Partner Schools, earned the Christa McAuliffe Excellence in Teacher Education Award. Operated by the Kremen School for Education and Human Development and coordinated by Dr. Colleen Torgerson, Partner Schools is a collaborative venture between Fresno State and regional public school districts (Fresno, Fowler, Clovis, Central, Porterville, Washington Unified and Sanger).

The program allows future teachers to take their credential courses on-site at an elementary school in the partner districts, giving them practical experience while they learn.

The program was recently bolstered by a $7.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to continue a teacher residency program with the Fresno Unified School District with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. The program is currently operated with the support of the Bechtel Foundation.

“The Kremen School is one of the largest educators of K-12 teachers in the state,” says Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro. “We are so proud that our programs are now gaining widespread attention for quality and innovation.”

Sanger Unified superintendent Matt Navo said the partnership better prepares teachers for the education work force.

“Over the last 10 years Sanger has been able to make tremendous strides in improving student achievement. This is partly due to the partnership with the Kremen School that helps prepare teachers to help close the achievement gaps of students,” Navo says. “I believe this is the way to prepare new teachers to meet the needs of students as we face the 21st century and embrace the college and career educational expectations.”

AASCU also presented its Leadership Development and Diversity Award to Fresno State for developing an initiative with California State University campuses in Bakersfield and Northridge to provide leadership training for employees moving into administrative positions. Each year 30 individuals are chosen from the three campuses to participate in the yearlong Regional Education for Achievement in Leadership (REAL) program.

“State colleges and universities have dealt with enormous challenges during the past decade, yet they have remained committed to their missions of student access and success and regional and economic progress, as well as a dedication to advancing the quality and distinction of their institutions,” says AASCU President Muriel A. Howard. “The innovative and collaborative approaches our members have engaged to successfully address their missions inspired us to create this awards program to foster recognition of their work.”

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