The California Teachers Association (CTA) indicates the state faces a massive shortage of highly qualified teachers – especially those who can teach math, science and special education — and early childhood caregivers and educators.
Studies show these shortages disproportionately affect students in high-poverty, rural areas, students from low-income families and students of color, amplifying the persistent achievement gaps between those students and wealthier peers.
But UC Merced Extension’s new fully-accredited Teacher Preparation Program (TPP), launched this fall, is taking direct aim at those desperate needs, offering would-be teachers multiple pathways to train to pass certification exams while gaining hands-on experience.
“This is really about the future of the Valley and about serving Valley students,” UC Merced Extension Director of Education Programs Lynn Reimer said. “Half of the children in this state attend rural schools, and we have the perfect opportunity here to improve their access to high-quality education.
“This is community outreach tailored to the area.”