New Grant to Build Pipeline of Middle School Teachers and Leaders

By John McDonald, UCLA School of Ed & IS News

UCLA Center X has been awarded an $8 million Teacher Quality Partnership grant from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. The five-year grant will fund a collaborative partnership to build a pipeline of well-prepared middle school teachers and leaders with the knowledge and skills to serve in high-need schools and further positive outcomes for middle school students. The project is intentionally interdisciplinary, with a focus on racial and cultural literacy and adolescent literacy.

The grant establishes “Cultivating Excellence: Teaching and Leading in Middle Schools” (Cultivating Excellence), a collaborative partnership between the UCLA Teacher Education Program and the UCLA Principal Leadership Institute, housed in Center X, and the UCLA Department of Social Welfare with high-need school districts in southeast Los Angeles County and the Lancaster region. Two community colleges will also partner in the project.

Developed by UCLA Teacher Education Program (TEP) director Emma Hipolito with TEP faculty Advisor Imelda Nava-Landeros and Tonikiaa Orange, Director of the UCLA Principal Leadership Institute (PLI) and their partners and colleagues, the grant project envisions an 18-month teacher residency and leadership development program preparing pre-service middle school teachers to receive a California Preliminary Teaching Credential and Master’s in education.