Grant from The Eisner Foundation Helps Expand Credentialing Programs at CSUN

  • Male teacher working with elementary school boy at his desk

    A recent grant from The Eisner Foundation will help more student-teachers earn their credentials at CSUN.

The Eisner Foundation and its founders, Michael and Jane Eisner, are dedicated to helping create connections between generations to enrich communities. Their legacy at CSUN began with a transformative gift to the College of Education that now is proud to bear the Michael D. Eisner name and continues thanks to a recent grant to the college to expand its teacher credentialing programs.

The $400,000 grant will be used to boost the number of students who can participate in the Accelerated Collaborative Teacher (ACT) Preparation Program, the SIMPACT immersive learning program and the college’s internship programs.

“CSUN’s Michael D. Eisner College of Education is committed to providing an outstanding education for the teachers who will inspire future generations in the region, state and nation,” CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison said. “We are grateful for the ongoing support from the Eisner family and The Eisner Foundation. We are excited to work in partnership to improve and expand these impactful programs.”

The ACT Program is an accelerated credential option designed for post-baccalaureate credential candidates interested in pursuing a multiple-subject, single-subject or education-specialist credential. Candidates progress through the two-semester, full-time program as a cohort, and work with experienced teachers to learn to teach in classrooms that serve students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Thanks to the accelerated pace, tuition costs are significantly lower than many other credentialing institutions.

“Currently, there is a shortage of teachers in California,” said Shari Tarver-Behring, interim dean of the CSUN Eisner College. “Our ACT credential program is a great choice for people seeking a second career in teaching. Funding from The Eisner Foundation will help us to expand the number of qualified teachers through recruitment and training. We also will be able to support more interns already in teaching positions to complete their credentials. In addition, this funding will allow more students to participate in our innovative SIMPACT program. Thanks to the support of The Eisner Foundation, our teacher credential programs will be able to provide more highly qualified teachers to our community.”

The SIMPACT Immersive Learning simulation uses avatars to provide a highly realistic virtual platform for practice and feedback in the types of skills that are difficult for teaching candidates to practice before entering the classroom. Education skills covered include direct instruction, classroom management, parent conferences and co-teacher collaborations.

The CSUN Eisner College’s Internship Program is an alternative pathway to earning a California Teaching Credential for individuals who have partially completed a credential program. Through a partnership between the candidate’s school district and CSUN, interns complete a state-approved professional education program.

“At The Eisner Foundation, our goal is to create connected communities that grow and learn together,” said Trent Stamp, CEO of The Eisner Foundation. “We know that the CSUN Eisner College programs give aspiring teachers the tools to do exactly that, and we look forward to watching their impact on schools in Los Angeles and beyond.”

“Michael Eisner and his foundation have been actively involved with CSUN for many years, and have helped lift the futures of Matadors who have earned California teaching credentials,” said Robert Gunsalus, vice president of University Advancement and president of the CSUN Foundation. “This partnership adds to the growing evidence of CSUN’s elevating impact throughout the community.”

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