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CNR and Queens College Partner to Address Critical Need for Bilingual Public School Administrators

July 25, 2017

The College of New Rochelle (CNR) will receive $200K in funding, over a period of two years, from a $500K New York State Department of Education grant, given to Queens College to prepare teachers in bilingual education and TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) to transition into administrative roles.

The partnership between the two colleges is focused on educating emerging leaders among bilingual teachers to assume administrative and other non-instructional roles such as School Building and School District Leaders in public school districts in the Hudson Valley and New York Metro area. The program emphasizes filling the void of leadership expertise on the education of English Language Learners (ELLs).

This funding further expands The College of New Rochelle’s work to prepare educators at all levels to support ELLs in schools. Last year, a $2.7 million federal grant enabled The College of New Rochelle to launch RESET (Rigor for the Educational Success of English learners through their Teachers) to address the critical need for advanced education for teachers of English Language Learners through graduate-level teacher certificate programs.

“The College of New Rochelle has long been a leader in educating teachers and administrators in this area of need,” said Dr. Dorothy Escribano, Interim President.  “We are pleased to be working with Queens College to provide this innovative new program.  Over the next five years, between this program and RESET, we will educate more than 250 public school teachers and administrators.”

As the public educational partner with the state, Queens College is administering the grant and executing the training of 20 students in New York City. As a partner with Queens College, The College of New Rochelle will execute the training of 10 students primarily in the Hudson Valley/Metro New York region. The state grant covers 75 percent of the tuition for each student enrolled in the two-year Advanced Certificate in School Building Leadership.

Key strategies for the program include building partnerships between P-12 schools and institutions of higher education to better meet the academic needs of ELL and Multilingual Learner (MLL) students.  The colleges will work collaboratively to build the competencies of educational leaders needed to support teachers and ELLs/MLLs in bilingual programs. They will also collaborate to assist school districts in implementing the State Commissioners Regulations Part 154 that holds all school districts accountable for identifying and serving ELLs and in creating culturally responsive school communities to help all students, including ELLs/MLLs, attain higher levels of academic success, increase language proficiency and become college and career ready.

“Our partnership is a testimony to the value of collaboration among institutions focusing on a tremendous need in school districts, namely, to have qualified School Building Leaders who are certified in English as a Second Language or Bilingual Education,” said Dr. Walter Sullivan, Associate Professor in Educational Leadership and Program Director of Educational Leadership in the Graduate School at The College of New Rochelle. “This grant will permit the College to assist in filling this void in areas where the number of special populations has dramatically risen. The College of New Rochelle is committed to the training of qualified educators who work with special populations in the state and who seek permanent certification as School Building Leaders.”

Dr. Estee López, Director for the Federal Professional Development Program RESET and faculty of the Graduate School at The College of New Rochelle, also helped to secure the grant. She said, “Leadership is crucial in bringing about positive changes for English Language Learners in the Westchester, Rockland and Northern Rockland region. The College has adopted a Dual Strategy process to address the issues of classroom practice and school or program leadership in our region. Our SBL leadership program will help selected candidates develop dispositions of professionalism and leadership by collaborating with colleagues, advocating for ELLs and their families, engaging in self-assessment and reflection, pursuing continuous professional development, demonstrating knowledge and initiative in planning instruction and assessment, in-depth knowledge of school, district, and governmental policies and legislation in order to advocate for English Language Learners.”