Chapman University’s Attallah College of Educational Studies has been awarded a $249,106 planning grant to develop a new Special Education teacher preparation pathway. 

The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing’s (CTC) grant program aims to develop four-year integrated teacher preparation programs, targeting areas of recognized teacher shortages, through bachelor’s degree programs that contain a teaching credential. In its first round of review, the CTC funded 19 proposals, including Attallah College’s award to prepare new Mild to Moderate Support Needs and Extensive Support Needs (ESN) Educational Specialist programs.

“We are incredibly grateful for this generous grant, which significantly strengthens our capacity to develop new Special Education programs,” says Dr. Roxanne Greitz Miller, Dean of Attallah College of Educational Studies at Chapman University. “This funding reaffirms our commitment to addressing the critical teacher shortages in California, particularly in the Special Education sector. It’s an opportunity to innovate, adapt, and ultimately provide our students with a robust preparation that will empower them to create inclusive and supportive learning environments for all students, and without the added cost of teacher preparation courses to be taken after the bachelor’s degree.”

The state grant program is also designed to facilitate partnerships between higher education institutions and California community colleges, aiming to create integrated professional preparation programs. Chapman’s grant includes a four-year pathway for future teachers who enter Chapman as freshmen as well as a 2-year transfer pathway for future teachers who complete their first two years of college at Santa Ana College or Santiago Canyon College, the local community colleges within the Rancho Santiago Community College District.

Dr. Trisha Sugita, Director of Teacher Education at Chapman University, considers this grant a significant milestone for the institution’s educational efforts. “This substantial grant enables us to innovate and adapt our teacher preparation curriculum to meet the evolving needs of future teachers and the diverse communities they will serve.”

The grant serves as a strategic investment by the state of California, with a focus on increasing the supply of qualified Special Education teachers. It underscores the importance of high-quality teacher preparation programs and highlights the critical role institutions like Chapman University play in addressing educational challenges and opportunities in California.

Dr. Jillian Wood, Director of Undergraduate Education Programs at Chapman University is thrilled to offer a new pathway for Attallah College undergraduate students looking to engage in a career in education. “This grant opportunity allows us to create a pathway where students can earn their undergraduate degree and multiple-subject teaching credential in four years. This pathway will help our students enter the teaching field in an accelerated timeline, without missing a beat.”