Upskilling Teachers for Dual Enrollment
Increase master’s degree attainment for high school teachers of english and math to increase capacity for dual enrollment class offerings.
A master’s degree program designed for working teachers
The Upskilling Teachers’ Master’s Program Pathway is an innovative master’s degree program to incentivize dual enrollment (DuE) delivery at Central Valley high schools with the upskilling of teachers teaching English and math courses to attain a master’s degree in English or math.
One of the top challenges for increasing DuE in high schools is the need for more instructors qualified to teach college English and math and who meet the minimum qualifications set forth by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office required to teach college-level courses and provide this opportunity for students as part of their regular high school instructional day.
Increasing the volume of dual enrollment teachers will help to increase the number of dual enrollment classes being offered and available to marginalized students.
This approach addresses an equity concern raised by the Fresno-Madera K-16 Collaborative and underscored by Central Valley Dual Enrollment for Equity and Prosperity (CVDEEP) Task Force that was convened by the Central Valley Higher Education Consortium (CVHEC) in March 2020, as well as by the Fresno DRIVE (Developing the Region’s Inclusive and Vibrant Economy) Initiative in 2019, when educators asserted that not enough Central Valley teachers are available to teach dual enrollment, resulting in fewer opportunities for students – an equity gap.
Although DuE has been a tool for students to get ahead for college, not every student has been exposed to its benefits. Still, others who may not view themselves as “college material” lose out on the benefits of its early exposure. By broadening dual enrollment opportunities for both rural and urban students, where they did not previously exist, more students are able to develop their collegiate confidence.
Funded by the Fresno-Madera K-16 Collaborative and in partnership with Collaborative Partners National University, Fresno Pacific University and the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools (FCSS), CVHEC initially spearheaded the Upskilling Teachers Master’s Programs and developed a community of practice to streamline programs for interested high school faculty to earn their master’s degree in these two high-need disciplines. Teachers from Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced and Tulare counties were able to participate in the program. The streamlined English Master’s degree program was offered by National University and the Math Master’s degree program was offered by Fresno Pacific University.
Scholarship/fellowship opportunities were provided to the teachers to subsidize part of the cost of the program, and, in some cases, books were provided by the FCSS. In addition, students participating in the English and math cohorts were paired with college instructors from State Center Community College District who served as mentors. In total, the Upskilling Teachers Master’s Programs provided support for approximately 115 teachers to participate in the program. “
The Dual Enrollment Upskilling Teachers Master’s Programs meet the Fresno-Madera K-16 Collaborative’s accessible equity-focused mission of creating an integrated, replicable, regional K-16 educational system foundation to address race equity and inclusion of our most vulnerable student populations,” said Karri Hammerstrom, Executive Director of the Fresno-Madera K-16 Collaborative. Clovis Unified School District also provided support to five teachers to attain their master’s in high need areas aligning with the Accounting Dual Enrollment Pathway.
CVHEC CVDEEP’s white paper documenting DuE initiatives and providing the foundational argument for the master’s attainment program was used as the basis for the Collaborative’s Upskilling Teachers’ Master’s Program: “Dual Enrollment in the Central Valley: Working Toward a Unified Approach for Equity and Prosperity.”
The first cohorts of master’s degree students began their studies the first week of January 2021 and the second round of cohorts began in May 2021. The third round of cohorts is scheduled to begin in October/November 2021.