Merced County Times Newspaper
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MCOE program prepares teachers for administration jobs

There is a shortage of teachers and administrators and a Merced County Office of Education program is seeking to remedy that.

Karla Paul, a coordinator of credentialing programs at MCOE, said people are needed to step into leadership roles.

Within the next decade, 40 to 50 percent of the current school administrators in the United States will be retiring from education, with hundreds of administrative positions available throughout California.

“There certainly are challenges, but the rewards are great,” Paul said. “The administrators bring a program to life and ultimately keep it functioning, supporting staff, students and the community.”

Classes start in October for the Preliminary Administrative Services Credential (PASC) Program. The 18-month face-to-face program is designed to help teachers develop leadership skills and learn how to successfully implement and lead a professional learning community. The program is approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

The Bridges to Leadership PASC program started in 2006 and an online version began in 2011. The program has expanded to Merced, Madera and Kings counties.

To date, 385 students have graduated from the Bridges to Leadership program.

Paul said program candidates need to have four years of certificated experience.

“People have to want to step into a role to support students. While the online program takes 15 months there is a benefit to face-to-face opportunities allowing collaboration with others,” Paul said.

Program graduates will earn their Preliminary Administrative Services Credential. They earn credits and can pursue a master’s degree.

The PASC program costs $6,975, with a flexible payment option available.

“Whether you are interested in school site leadership, a leadership position at another level or professional learning to enhance your current position, our high-quality program is designed with you in mind,” Paul said.

The Bridges to Leadership program is composed of seminars, online learning, practical leadership experiences, reflective writing and field work. A coach trained in cognitive coaching provides monthly sessions for all participants as they advance through the program.

Six courses are offered during the 18-month period. Class sessions are held on Saturdays at the Merced County Office of Education. Participants engage in learning opportunities that are hands on and highly collaborative.

For more information on PASC, call Karla Paul at (209) 381-6614 or administrative secretary Heather Woody at (209) 381-5976.

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