The Golden State Teacher Grant: An Overview and APU’s Connection

by Heather Nelson

The Golden State Teacher Grant, a recently signed education grant approved by California Governor Gavin Newsom, is a new opportunity for prospective special education teachers to fund their education in pursuit of a teaching credential. The grant has the potential to benefit the state’s education system by providing a fresh source of financial aid to soon-to-be teachers, helping them begin their teaching careers and make a positive difference in students’ lives.

If you’re interested in becoming a teacher in California, this grant from the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) could provide an exceptional opportunity. Here’s what you need to know.

Who Qualifies for the Golden State Teacher Grant?

Through this grant, the state of California aims to place talented educators in the high-need field of special education at priority schools.

Eligible applicants need to commit to completing a teacher preparation program at a CTC-approved institution and be enrolled. In addition, each institution may have their own selection criteria for grant eligibility. Students who are awarded the grant will receive a one-time grant of up to $20,000 to use toward their education.

It’s important to keep in mind that, while many students may meet the qualifications for the grant, awards are decided on a first applied, first served basis.

What Are the Requirements of the Grant?

The Golden State Teacher Grant entails a teaching agreement that all recipients will agree to before accepting the grant. In addition to maintaining good academic standing and passing the state’s credentialing exams, the teaching agreement requires recipients to abide by a few guidelines.

Here are three requirements grant applicants must satisfy:

  1. Teaching in a priority school for four years. The grant requires students to commit to teach in California in a priority school for at least four years, and the commitment must take place within five years after completing the credential program. Priority schools are those with a high percentage of current teachers with emergency-type permits.
  2. Instructing in a high-need field. To receive the grant funding, chosen recipients must commit to teaching in the high-need field of special education.
  3. Maintain good academic standing. Finally, grant recipients must maintain good academic standing while they are enrolled in their CTC-approved teacher preparation program.

As with most grant agreements, if recipients of the Golden State Teacher Grant can’t fulfill the teaching agreement, they must repay the grant reward in part or in full. It’s important to fully understand your ability to pursue teaching and have a timeline in place.

APU and the Golden State Teacher Grant

Azusa Pacific University is proud to be one of the universities that will receive an allocation of Golden State Teacher Grant funds. In the meantime, Sarah Regalado, APU’s associate director of financial aid for Graduate and Professional Student Financial Services, noted that the university is ready and willing to help prospective teachers talk through the benefits of the grant and explore all their financial aid options.

“This grant will be a great financial resource for students who may be struggling to pay for their education,” Regalado said. “It may be the difference between a student choosing to be part-time versus full-time, enabling them to complete their requirements quicker.”

APU’s School of Education offers a number of institutional scholarships and tuition discounts that can help prospective teachers pursue their credential.

The Golden State Teacher Grant will help prospective teachers fund their education and prepare them to make a difference in the schools that need them most. For many future teachers, it’s a calling to step into a classroom. The funding offered by this grant can be a tool in helping fulfill that calling. Visit the CSAC to learn more about the program and to apply for the grant.

Are you interested in starting a career in teaching? Explore Azusa Pacific University’s School of Education to learn more about credentials and graduate degrees for educators.