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UCR program educates teachers

UC Riverside has started a teacher education program at its Palm Desert campus.

Supporting Teacher Education through Partnerships – STEP – is a pairing of the university and the Coachella Valley Unified School District, according to a statement on the university’s website.

The program looks to offset the teacher shortage in that part of Riverside County by instructing teachers in multiple subjects.

The first class this fall has six students. UC Riverside officials hope to get that number to 50 in two or three years.

About 120 students are enrolled in the teacher education program on the Riverside campus.

“The expansion into the Coachella Valley will focus on increasing and strengthening the teacher pipeline, diversifying the teacher pool, and closing opportunity and academic achievement gaps persistent in the region,” said Frances Valdovinos, assistant dean and director of teacher education at UC Riverside’s School of Education, in the statement.

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