The College of Education and Integrative Studies has received a $25,000 gift and an endowment valued at approximately $82,000 to support its teacher academy, which aims to ease California’s teacher shortage by preparing high school students to become teachers.
Ivan Misner, Ph.D., founder and chief visionary officer of Business Network International, provided the funds, which will expand opportunities for training and supporting aspiring teachers.
“Young people represent 20 percent of our population but they are 100 percent of our future,” said Misner. “Teachers influence the future by influencing their students. There is no worthier cause.”
Since the inception of the teacher academy in 2019, CEIS has partnered with Los Angeles County school districts to offer high school students an opportunity to earn college credit while exploring careers in education. Students in the program attend meetings to learn more about the teaching profession and the needed coursework to become a teacher. In addition, the students tour Cal Poly Pomona and engage with CPP faculty, staff and students through seminars on teacher preparation programs at CPP and campus resources.
The program, which is led by Ethnic and Women’s Studies lecturer Paul Knopf, has recruited 75 students this year.
“I’m proud that Cal Poly Pomona and the College of Education and Integrative Studies are taking action to encourage students into this very important profession,” said Knopf. “It’s a privilege and passion for me to work with these students because they will be teaching the next generation of kids.”
Teacher academy participants recently met on campus to hear from students, administrators and staff at CPP on topics related to teacher preparation and the student experience.
“Ever since I joined the teacher academy, it’s given me a new experience,” said Norma Navarro, a student from Mountain View High School in El Monte. “I’ve learned about teaching and how it is to be a teacher.”
Also in attendance was Samantha Torres.
“My experience in the classroom was pretty good,” Torres said. “Everyone was pretty cool and I learned a lot in there. My goal is to become an English teacher because I like to read.”
According to Knopf, the teacher academy will continue to meet on a quarterly basis to inform students about opportunities and resources to support their educational endeavors.
“We are grateful for Dr. Misner’s generous gift, which will be crucial for supporting and growing our teacher academy and the continuous work of preparing students to become future educators,” said CEIS Interim Dean Hend Gilli-Elewy.
For more information about CEIS’s teacher academy, contact Paul Knopf at firstname.lastname@example.org.