Whittier, California – Representatives from Río Hondo College will celebrate the impact of its educator pathway and the importance of strengthening the teaching profession by increasing the number of teachers of color at the Center for Collaborative Education’s (CCE) gala on Tuesday, Oct. 3.

The CCE gala will celebrate three years of its Community Partnerships for Teacher Pipeline (CPTP), a teaching exploration program Río Hondo College and two other community colleges have offered since 2020. Río Hondo College’s President/Superintendent Dr. Marilyn Flores, Board of Trustees member Rosaelva Lomeli, Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Don Miller, Dean of Career and Technical Education Mike Slavich, Interim Project Manager of Teacher Preparation Pipeline and Pathways Lea Martinez, and Education Counselor Alyssa Martinez will attend and be available for interviews at the gala.

The CPTP offers future teachers experienced advisory mentors and success coaches, while providing career development activities and stipends to help build a diverse workforce that is more representative of student demographics.

“Río Hondo College is a proud partner of the Center for Collaborative Education, as the Community Partnerships for Teacher Pipeline perfectly aligns with our institution-wide commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility and anti-racism,” Dr. Flores said. “It is imperative our society’s educators are as diverse as society itself to create an inclusive educational environment that fosters understanding and unity among students.”

Students in the program are provided with a certificated teacher mentor who offers one-on-one support to provide opportunities for students to build positive personal relationships and develop first-hand employment knowledge and skills.

The CPTP Teacher Mentoring Network serves as a hub of professional learning communities for teacher support, collaboration, and community building in the region.

The program is made possible by a $9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education that was given to multiple college partners to bring the CPTP’s vision to fruition.

The teacher preparation mentoring program at Río Hondo College had a modest beginning, with approximately 15-20 students and 10 mentors in 2010, initially supported by various grant initiatives. However, over the course of three years since the introduction of the CPTP program at Río Hondo College, the program has experienced remarkable growth. It now supports and guides more than 100 students with 60-70 mentors each semester.

“This growth unequivocally underscores the program’s remarkable impact. Our mentorship network has also grown significantly over the years, each of whom are deeply committed to supporting our students,” Lea Martinez said. “This gala celebration serves as a testament to the power of dedication, collaboration, and an unwavering belief in transforming dreams into reality.”