OCDE to award grants to 50 school employees working to become teachers

As part of an effort to combat the shortage of teachers statewide, Orange County Department of Education is awarding 50 grants of up to $3,000 to help school support staff earn teaching credentials.

The funding from the California Classified School Employee Teacher Credentialing Program is aimed at helping classified employees, or those in jobs that don’t require teaching licenses, earn bachelor’s degrees and teaching credentials by providing aid for their tuition and other costs.Kindergarten teacher Courtney Smith helps students with their class projects

State lawmakers allocated $20 million for the initiative last year in response to a teacher shortage in many districts across California, especially in math, science, special education and bilingual education.

A consortium led by OCDE was among 25 districts and county education offices selected for the competitive grants by demonstrating a shortage of teachers, having classified employees willing to enroll in teacher training programs, having a high demand for math, science, special education and bilingual education, and other factors. The OCDE consortium was awarded funding to cover up to 200 grants.

Classified employees from districts across Orange County are eligible for the latest batch of 50 grants if they meet certain requirements. They are:

  • Applicants must be employed as a classified employee at a school district or county office
  • Have completed a minimum of 60 units or have an AA degree
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 2.75
  • Secured two letters of recommendation
  • Completed a personal statement
  • Provided unofficial transcripts from all colleges attended

Application materials have been forwarded to local districts. Anyone interested in applying should contact their human resources department or department supervisors.