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November 21, 2013

Certificate Program at CCNY Raising Ranks of NYC Bilingual Teachers

Faculty of the School of Education bilingual teaching certificate program: (L to R) Nancy Stern, Carmina Makar, Jesús Fraga and Tatyana Kleyn. Not present: Dina Lopez.

The City College of New York School of Education is helping to increase the number of qualified bilingual teachers working in New York City schools, by offering a program leading to state certification to teach in English and an additional language. The new program, funded by the New York City Department of Education, is in its second year and is training an additional 40 – 45 in-service teachers a year to teach in more than one language.

"There is a huge need for teachers who can teach in more than one language, and City College's geographic location makes us a good fit with the Department of Education's goal to place more bilingual teachers in the schools with the highest need," said Jesús Fraga, the program director.

To qualify for the program, teachers must be fluent in English and an additional language. They take 15 credit hours of classes in linguistics, multicultural education, teaching language arts and teaching content – such as math, science or social studies – in two languages. The classes are given in evenings and the Department of Education pays for teachers' tuition.

Many of the teachers enrolled in the program are alumni of City College and other CUNY colleges, Mr. Fraga noted. "They are taking the classes because their principals need bilingual teachers and they want to stay in the schools they are currently teaching in and be of service to their communities."

While most of the teachers work in multicultural communities near City College such as Washington Heights, East Harlem and the South Bronx, a few work at schools in Brooklyn and Queens, as well, Mr. Fraga said. The greatest need is for teachers who are fluent in Spanish, but there is also demand for teachers who know Chinese, French and Haitian Creole, he added, noting that the program fits squarely within the School of Education's mission to serve the New York City schools community.

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture; the School of Education; the Grove School of Engineering; the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, and the Colin L. Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership. U.S. News, Princeton Review and Forbes all rank City College among the best colleges and universities in the United States.
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