Larsen/Lam Family Educator Preparation Collaborative
While tech gets all the headlines, teachers remain our most valuable resource and hope for the future. We're so proud to help support the work SFSU GCOE does to develop and enrich these wonderful people!
- Chris Larsen, Class of 1984
For many years, teacher candidates in the Graduate College of Education have benefitted from awards from the Chris Larsen Scholarship fund to help with tuition and costs of becoming a credentialed educator. More recently, Chris Larsen and Lyna Lam responded to the critical need for increasing the numbers and diversity of qualified teachers in California’s public schools, particularly in the SF Bay Area. Their generous donation established the Larsen/Lam Family Educator Preparation Collaborative, begun in January 2018. The Collaborative serves as the framework to implement programs that create educator preparation pathways from entry into college to successful entry into multiple careers in the school and community. Through several interconnected components, the Collaborative strategically addresses marketing, recruitment, admission and success of future educators.
The Collaborative is built on the following practices that are aligned with CSU, SF State and GCOE Student Success Initiatives:
- Attracting the best candidates;
- Laying the groundwork with our partners;
- Supporting students in their journey;
- Strategically supporting students in degree completion; and
- Building a mutually reinforcing learning community.
Building and Diversifying the Educator Workforce
Building Bridges for Educator Equity
At the heart of the mission for the Graduate College of Education is our commitment to equity, social justice and inclusion throughout our programs to prepare educators to serve in schools and communities with an increasingly diverse society. While San Francisco State University is one of the nation’s most ethnically and culturally diverse campuses, fewer candidates of color enter credential programs than are represented as undergraduate students in the university and in public-school programs. As part of the Collaborative, additional grant funds from the CSU Chancellor’s Office of External Affairs were awarded for Preparing for College Success, titled Building Bridges for Educator Equity. Outreach to high school students, community college students and their families is underway through active recruitment activities, particularly in the Hispanic community. A major outreach event, with support by the Collaborative and additional funds provided by the Building Bridges for Equity grant is planned on April 28, 2018, Dia de la Familia. The PSA developed for this event will provide ongoing outreach to families and future educators through the Collaborative.
Open House and Application Summit
As a follow-up to EduCorps, the Collaborative hosted an Open House and Application Summit. Many of our GCOE staff and faculty welcomed and met with prospective applicants to our credential and graduate programs in all Departments. This event brought the GCOE team together, making a successful event to welcome new applicants. The energy throughout the building, from the registration in the lobby, to individual Department sessions, to CalState application stations, and lunch—created a buzz that showed the excitement of the students and faculty commitment to bringing students into professional educator careers.
This event took many hands throughout the college, including planning and organizing behind the scenes. There were many inspiring moments -- including a student who discovered that entering Special Education was a good match for her interests, a history major who was just curious and decided to seek a Single Subject Credential, and more. The Collaborative provided the development of lasting resources to guide students in the application process. Personal outreach to prospective candidates is turning the tide, resulting in increasing enrollments.
On November 6, in Jack Adams Hall, over 170 undergraduate students attended the GCOE EduCorps: Celebrating Educators at SF State. Each student in attendance was nominated by a professor or advisor who saw qualities of a future educator in that student. Nominated students were then invited to the event to learn about the array of careers available in school settings that include elementary, secondary, and special education teaching, speech-language pathology, school counseling, psychology, social work, being a principal and more. Speakers included alumni who are educator leaders throughout the SF Bay Area and students discussed educator programs available at SF State with faculty and alumni over dinner. The Collaborative supported follow-up with EduCorps scholars throughout Spring 2018 to assist students to meet in groups with faculty and to apply to credential and graduate programs in education. The Collaborative will also provide funding for EduCorps 2018.