October 4, 2002

CalTeach Helps Latino Parents Prepare Their Children For College

Guide Outlines Necessary Steps To Get Into College and Pathway To Becoming A Teacher

The California Center for Teaching Careers (CalTeach) has published a pamphlet “Preparing Your Child for College: A Parent’s Guide,” informing parents of the process and requirements to ensure their children enter college. The guide also provides the specific steps to enter the teaching profession.

According to the 2000 Census, 28 percent of Whites received a college degree compared to only 17 percent of African Americans and 11 percent of Latinos. In the competitive job market, it has become all but a necessity to receive a college degree, which often results in a higher paid salary. The average starting salary for an individual with a high school diploma is only $22,400, compared to $38,000 for a college graduate.

“The guide is our call to action for parents. If you want your child to attend college, this is what you need to know and do — today. California is facing a teacher shortage but to increase the number of teachers we need to get our children to finish college first,” said Nancy Brownell, director of CalTeach.

The guide provides parents with a simple roadmap to college that includes a listing of recommended college preparatory courses, financial aid and scholarship information, as well as a checklist of required college exams. It also includes information on the pathway to a teaching career.

Although the guide is being offered to all parents, Latino parents are especially being targeted because of the lack of college knowledge. According to a recent study by the Tomás Rivera Policy Institute Center for Latino Educational Excellence, researchers found 65.7% of the parents failed a mini-test on factual college knowledge. Yet, 96% of the parents surveyed expected their children to go to college. The findings suggest that unless these knowledge deficits are remedied, Latino children are likely to miss out on crucial steps leading to college.

Available in both English and Spanish, the guide will be distributed at community events throughout California. The guide is also available to download at www.calteach.com

California currently faces a shortage of qualified teachers largely driven by an ever expanding student enrollment, mandated class size reduction and the growing attrition of today’s teacher workforce as a large proportion reach retirement age. During the next decade California will need to recruit 195,000 people to take on the challenging but rewarding job of teaching the state’s children.

Return to the Frontpage