South Valley Integrated Teacher Education Program

The integrated teacher education program is an accelerated pathway from entering college to graduating with your bachelor’s degree and your multiple subject teaching credential in just four years in our ITEP program. They would then begin their college career at one of our community college partners, that’s either Porterville College, College of the Sequoias, or West Hills College Lemoore, and complete their first two years there. Then transfer to us at the South Valley ITEP which all of their coursework is going to take place at the Fresno State Visalia campus. Many of them are non-traditional students that have families, that have other obligations that they need to be closer to home to be able to attend to. And so we value that richness of experience that they bring to the program because we know they’re going to be highly committed teachers when they enter in the classroom. I didn’t even start going back to college until I was 27 because I was a stay at home mom with three kids and I felt like I had a knack for it and so I was looking for a way to get into a classroom I had no idea where to start. Started doing research and made my way to COS and then decided from there that this would be the easiest way to get to the classroom because you do it quick and you are with the same people the whole time and it’s pretty convenient. One of the things that we wanted to provide is a local solution to the teacher shortage, you know we anticipate the need for several hundred new teachers every year in the South Valley. The main focus of my position is teacher recruitment. It’s nice to have a program that is going to produce teachers here in our in our Valley. I know the program will grow and increase the numbers. We hire 150 plus teachers every year and so we have to go to Fresno State and different areas to make that happen, so it’s nice at Fresno State is it’s bringing this program here locally for us to keep our local kids at home and give us an opportunity to hire them. So it will help tremendously. I always knew that I wanted to be a teacher. I think that teachers are so important to the community. I think they’re so important to children in their lives and they create such a huge impact on kids. And I chose the ITEP program because it gets you into the classroom much faster than if you were to go to Fresno State’s main campus. Leading the classroom and seeing kids reach their milestones and learning and being able to be the stability in a child’s life, that may not have much stability, maybe school is the only thing that they know that’s stable and that’s comfortable and that’s warm in their life. And if I could be that to one kid that makes everything worth it.

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