FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- According to the California Department of Education Hispanic teachers represent 25% of public schools in Fresno County, meanwhile, students make up 65% of the population. Dr. Laura Alamillo Interim Dean for the Kremen School says this is a problem for the San Joaquin Valley, One Fresno State is working to remedy with the help of a major contribution.
"When you have those demographics the research does show that the teachers and administrators should reflect the population they are serving," said Alamillo.
Recently the university received a $3.75 million dollar grant from the Department of Education. The funds will help them recruit bilingual Latino students interested in becoming teachers. Their efforts will start as early as high school.
"it allows us to expand outreach ion the kind of work and the kind of recruitment efforts and just really bringing viability to the profession and to a demographic that isn't always front and center," said Dr Patricia Lopez, Assistant Professor of Curriculum and instruction.
The career path will be made clear through an enhanced partnership with Fresno City College and Reedley college. At both campuses, Hispanic student enrollment is over 50 percent.
Staff will help them through community college and into Fresno State's teacher credential program, this includes a teacher residency.
"What we're doing is putting teacher candidates in schools from day one," said Alamillo.
Lopez said it'll help with current teacher shortage and turnover in schools. More importantly, they hope educators return to their hometowns and enrich their communities by teaching there.
"particularly when Latino, Latina groups are brought into the profession and are supported to go into their profession not only do they teach in high needs areas, but they also stay in those areas," she said.
Administration said spending has already started and the first cohort of candidates will begin at Fresno City and Reedley College in the fall of 2019.
Fresno State receives $3.75 million grant to increase Hispanic teacher pipeline