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Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School—known for its premiere programs in early childhood education, human development, and marital and family therapy—is expanding its unique model of education across K–12 by launching the nation’s newest School of Education. The school, which begins its first classes this month, will be home to Pacific Oaks’ nationally recognized curriculum in early childhood education plus proposed new program areas dedicated to teacher education, special education, and educational leadership.
Leading the school as its founding dean is Dr. Carl Kalani Beyer, a 43-year education veteran who has worked as a public school teacher, coach, mentor, professor, and higher education administrator. “Our approach to teacher training is to not look at children and adolescents as empty vessels waiting to be filled with knowledge, but to honor the whole child; to recognize the experiences, skills, and cultural awareness that each brings to the classroom.”
The Pacific Oaks School of Education arrives at a critical time for teaching and learning in California. According to a 2010 report by the nonprofit Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning, the nation’s most populous state is facing a shortfall of qualified educators, which will only amplify by decade’s end. The report showed that the number of teachers in California is dipping to the lowest level in a decade. Meanwhile, more than 30 percent of the state’s work force, including teachers, is approaching retirement age.
According to Dr. Linda Clowers, Pacific Oaks’ new vice president of academic affairs, the School of Education positions the college, and its home town of Pasadena, as a part of the solution for preparing teachers to face profound changes and demands ahead for the state’s education system.
“It is our goal to not just contribute to the pipeline of excellent and qualified educators,” said Dr. Clowers, “but to draw from the legacy of Pacific Oaks to graduate educators prepared to excel in multicultural classrooms and in school districts challenged by limited resources, yet high expectations.”
The school’s current programs include bachelor’s degrees in early childhood education with the option of a multiple subject credential to teach in California or dual credential; an M.A. in Education with Preliminary Multiple Subject Credential (CA); an M.A. in Early Childhood Education; and a Preliminary Educational Specialist Credential, Mild/Moderate (CA).
“Our mission is to advance a model of education devoted to learning how to be leaders in promoting social justice and act as culturally intelligent agents of change while serving diverse communities,” said Dr. Beyer. “We wish to do this first in the greater Los Angeles area, then all of California, and finally, expanding nationally and internationally.”
The school’s growth plan includes additional online special education credentialing programs and a master’s degree focused on education administration. With a commitment to access, the Pacific Oaks Board of Trustees acted to counter trends in higher education and voted this year to lower tuition for the School of Education’s bachelor’s completion programs plus endorsed offering offsite cohort tuition reductions.
“In the face of other higher education institutions raising tuition, we made a commitment this academic year to open our college to more students by lowering our cost of attendance,” said Board Chair Dorothy Farris. “Every little bit helps and we want to make the teaching profession accessible and open to anybody who wants to make a lasting contribution to their community by choosing to become a professional educator.”
About Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School
Pacific Oaks College and the Children’s School have played a crucial role in the development of early childhood education inthe United States for more than a half century. Founded in 1959 by a small group of Quaker families, Pacific Oaks College is dedicated to the fundamental Quaker principles of inclusion, social justice, and the valuing of every human being. The College’s faculty has developed innovative curriculum and tools that are widely used in early childhood and teacher training programs—both in the U.S. and throughout the world. Pacific Oaks is well-known for its leadership in a learning-through-play curriculum, and for the ground-breaking anti-bias curriculum that has been implemented in schools throughout the country and is often required reading in early childhood teacher training courses.
An accredited nonprofit institution, Pacific Oaks College offers bachelor’s, master’s, and certificate programs in early childhood education, human development, counseling, and teaching credentialing.
Founded in 1945, the Children’s School is widely recognized today as one of the finest preschools in the nation.
CONTACT: Matthew Nehmer