July 11, 2016

Contact: Matt Lazier

Cal Poly and Lucia Mar School District Receive $600,000 Grant to Prepare New Generation of Teachers

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly’s School of Education and the Lucia Mar Unified School District (LMUSD) have been awarded a $600,000 grant by the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation to expand practice-based training for new K-8 teachers in implementing the state’s math and science standards.

Cal Poly’s renowned Learn by Doing educational model is exemplified in its teacher education program, which offers a powerful combination of rigorous academics with hands-on experience. The School of Education, part of Cal Poly’s College of Science and Mathematics, is dedicated to preparing knowledgeable, skillful and caring education professionals for positions in an increasingly diverse, technological society. 

Cal Poly is among 11 California State University campuses earning S. D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation grants. 

“This grant will allow Cal Poly to continue its work to change lives, improve communities, and build a better California,” said Cal Poly President Jeffrey D. Armstrong. “Our long-term goal is to prepare highly qualified new teachers for schools throughout the region, and together, we can achieve our ambitious plan.”

The grant will fund standards-based professional development for three groups. Future teachers will receive hands-on practice in many areas, including instructional design and classroom management. Current district teachers who mentor these teaching candidates will learn effective coaching and evaluation techniques, as will the Cal Poly faculty who oversee the students. Through this three-pronged approach, each step of the teacher education program will be strengthened. Cal Poly’s efforts will be led by education professors Tanya Flushman and Leah Wood.         

Investments made by the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation will expand the CSU’s New Generation of Educators Initiative (NGEI), an initiative focused on preparing highly qualified math and science teachers for the elementary and middle grades — the formative years in the educational pipeline that lay a foundation for students’ long-term success and college and career readiness.

“We applaud Cal Poly and Lucia Mar Unified School District for this bold effort that will benefit students across the entire region for decades to come,” said Loren Blanchard, CSU executive vice chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs.

For more information on the NGEI, visit

About Cal Poly

Founded in 1901 and part of the renowned California State University system since 1960, Cal Poly is a nationally ranked, four-year, comprehensive polytechnic public university located in San Luis Obispo, Calif. Known for its Learn by Doing approach, small class sizes, and open access to expert faculty, Cal Poly is a distinctive learning community whose 20,000 academically motivated students enjoy an unrivaled hands-on educational experience that prepares them to lead successful personal and professional lives.

About Lucia Mar Unified School District
Lucia Mar is the largest school district in San Luis Obispo County. The district proudly educates more than 10,700 students who attend 11 elementary schools, three middle schools, three comprehensive high schools, one continuation high school, and one adult education program. Ongoing partnerships with community colleges, state universities, and local businesses also provide an important role in educational improvement.

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