Recruitment of teachers for high-need rural schools is the primary objective of Education Professor Mark O’Shea’s El Camino Education Alliance. The collaboration of Cal State Monterey Bay, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and partner school districts seeks to make improvements in teacher preparation by placing clinical experience at the heart of the curriculum and augmenting critical curriculum components.

The two California State University campuses are responding to a tremendous need in the school districts that lie between them, a large span of rural and remote schools where teacher shortages are constant and school districts want incentives to keep their highly qualified teachers. In partnership with 10 surrounding public school districts, Alliance-related programs will assist nearly 75,000 students, using teacher performance and K-12 student success data for ongoing assessment.

One example is a co-teaching program in its fifth year at Del Rey Woods Elementary School. “We have seen outstanding results,” says Dr. Ramiro S. Reyes, Del Rey Woods' principal. “I am confident the program prepares teachers extremely well for their first year in the profession.”

Support for related partnerships at the 10 public school districts is funded by an $8.6 million Teacher Quality Partnership grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The El Camino Education Alliance aims to increase the number of teachers who complete the credentials in STEM fields by 10 percent each year, starting in the second year with a target retention rate of 80 percent or higher for new teachers.