The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) has jointly awarded Teacher Residency Capacity Grants to the Attallah College of Educational Studies and two of its local district partners. The $50,000 grants will allow Attallah to further develop collaborative partnerships with Fountain Valley School District (FVSD) and Magnolia School District (MSD), both in Orange County, California.

FVSD and MSD will each partner with Attallah to develop and expand their teacher residency programs so they align with California’s efforts to serve all students in the least restrictive environment.

The CCTC’s Teacher Residency Capacity Grants are part of a larger Teacher Residency grant program that seeks to support the recruitment, preparation, and support of special education teachers at the local level. In the next phase of the program, a total of $50 million is available for competitive grants to local education agencies (LEAs).

Toward Dual-Credentialed Teachers

Trisha Sugita, Ph.D., is the program coordinator of Attallah’s Master of Arts in Special Education. She explains that the Teacher Residency Capacity Grants will allow Chapman and its district partners to address California’s teacher shortage while preparing a diverse group of teachers who are dually licensed in special education (K-12) and elementary education (K-6).

Limited teacher preparation programs exist in Orange County that focus on inclusive practices or that offer dual licensure in special education and elementary education. Attallah faculty will work in close collaboration with FVSD and MSD administrators and support staff to provide teacher candidates hands-on field experience working with the diverse needs of local students.

“With our strong local district partnerships, the Attallah College will develop one of the few dual-licensure inclusive teacher residency programs in Orange County. Chapman will be at the forefront to not only address the teacher pipeline issue, but the need for teachers who are highly trained in implementing inclusive practices,” said Dr. Sugita.

District Partnerships

Chapman’s existing special education teacher preparation program will be modified to tailor school site coursework in addition to onsite university coursework. Specifically, the grants will provide resources to build capacity with district partner mentor/master teachers, support staff, and administrators via professional development and individual coaching sessions. The goal is to fully implement sustainable teacher residency programs.

“The Teacher Residency Capacity Grant will provide MSD with the opportunity to cultivate our own teachers in an innovative teacher credentialing program that combines both general education and special education teaching credentials,” said Frank Donavan, Ed.D., Superintendent of Magnolia School District. “We believe that all children can reach their full potential, and we are thankful to participate in this inclusive program that we view as the future in teacher credentialing.”

Chapman will work with its district partners to adapt the delivery model of instruction to meet the needs of the teacher residents and the Magnolia and Fountain Valley districts.

“FVSD is excited to be chosen as a recipient of the Teacher Residency Capacity Grant,” said Cathie Abdel, Fountain Valley’s Assistant Superintendent, Personnel. “With Chapman University as a partner, we will be able to provide student teachers with resources, opportunities, and experiences that will build their capacity and support an inclusive education model for our students.”

Dr. Donavan sees the partnership with the Attallah College as particularly important to ensuring equitable opportunities for all students: “We know that Chapman and the Attallah College focus on quality with high expectations and rigor. We also appreciate the belief in social justice by way of inclusive teaching practices as an effective way to provide access to a quality elementary school education to traditionally underserved students.”


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