The Fresno State Visalia Campus is now offering the Integrated Teacher Education Program (ITEP). Students are able to earn a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies and a multiple subject teaching credential in only four years without having to leave the South Valley. This program addresses a critical need for well-qualified, highly-committed teachers for learners in schools in the South Valley.
Currently, college students who wish to become teachers through an evidence-based teacher education program need to travel to Fresno from their communities in the South Valley for coursework at Fresno State; a trip of more than an hour, several times per week.
One of the largest barriers for young adults in the South Valley to pursue higher education is transportation. Students in communities such as Lemoore, Lindsay, Porterville, and Woodlake travel over an hour one-way to take classes at Fresno State. With this barrier, there are fewer young adults likely to pursue higher education.
In the new ITEP program, future teachers in the South Valley will complete their first two years of college work in a carefully aligned program at one of three partnered community colleges: College of the Sequoias, Porterville College, and West Hills College – Lemoore.
Students then transfer to Fresno State and complete their remaining coursework in an accelerated two-year program at the Fresno State Visalia Campus.
“Geographically it is a huge benefit for our students. If we can get higher education closer to our students and take out the transportation barrier, we would have more students accessing higher ed. It’s shown the College of the Sequoias students that they are going to have an opportunity. A real opportunity now to a 4-year Fresno State degree right here in the South Valley.”
– Stan Carrizosa, Past President, College of the Sequoias
Students become engaged in learning how to teach through authentic experiences in schools in their home communities. Most importantly, they will complete their bachelor’s degree and teaching credential in only two more years, shortening the total time from five-in-a-half years to four years. This program prepares students to become elementary school teachers in their hometowns.
“The need for teachers in the South Valley is tremendous. Because of the growth we’re increasing in the number of students and the number of teachers needed in the Valley. … It’s nice that Fresno State is bringing this program locally for us to keep our local kids at home and give us an opportunity to hire them. It will help tremendously.”
– Doug Cardoza, Human Resources Director, Visalia Unified School District