Sacramento State's effort to increase diversity among California school teachers is getting a boost. The U.S. Department of Education is giving Sac State more than $2.6 million over the next five years to recruit and train more minority teachers.
"We're trying to increase the number of teachers, future teachers that would represent ethnically the population of students that we serve,” says Alexander Sidorkin, dean of the College of Education at Sacramento State. “For example, Hispanic teachers are underrepresented, meaning fewer of them than the students in the classrooms in the region."
"It's a complex problem,” says Sidorkin, “so it could be attacked many different ways from recruiting kids from high school to enter the college to kind of lead them through the process here and becoming credentialed teachers."
He says kids have to have good teachers first - "but in addition, if they have teachers that can play kind of a role model for them, it's easier for them to connect, to identify themselves with teachers, which is helping them to learn.”
Sac State is among three campuses getting a total of more than $8 million to enhance diversity. The other two are Sonoma State University and CSU Long Beach.