Dr. Julie Henderson (left) and Rosa Parks in the 90’s. Henderson worked with Parks in Detroit for three years before coming to California to do her doctorate at Stanford University. Parks wrote one of her letters of recommendation. Henderson said, “I developed the philosophical foundation that supported my application for this project from Mrs. Parks who frequently reminded me that it’s the “regular, everyday people who change the world.”
Holy Names University (HNU) was awarded a five-year, $5.1 million Transition to Teaching Grant by the U.S. Department of Education – one of the five awarded in California.
The Transition to Teaching program supports efforts to recruit mid-career professionals and recent graduates with degrees outside of education into the teaching profession. It helps these recruits to become teachers through alternative certification routes.
The program also emphasizes the placement of teachers in high-need schools.
This grant expands HNU’s teacher certification program by focusing on the recruitment and training of culturally and linguistically diverse students. It aims to increase the number of teachers from under represented groups to work in some of California’s highest-needs schools, including the Oakland Unified, West Contra Costa and Hayward Unified School Districts.
“I pursued this grant because I learned a long time ago, both as a teacher and school principal, that it takes 3-5 years of work in schools to become a really good teacher – the kind of teacher who knows and cares as much about their students and the community as s/he does the subject matter… and who considers this ‘job’ to be a spiri¬tual vocation,” said Dr. Julie Henderson, Assistant Professor of Education and the program’s founder and director.
“Our undergraduates already embody that kind of caring and community commitment, so helping them to become teachers by giving scholarships and providing strong mentors is a win-win for everyone,” she said. “Five years from now, we will have prepared at least 150 HNU graduates to be outstand¬ing teachers for Oakland, Hayward and West Contra Costa.”