University of La Verne
LaFetra College of Education

“Our institution is uniquely positioned to take full advantage of this new partnership with Branch Alliance for Educator Diversity and our community partner, Pomona Unified School District,” University of La Verne’s Dean of LaFetra College of Education Kimberly White-Smith, Ed.D., said, adding, “We hope to be an example of how removing barriers and obstacles that disproportionately impact our educators of color will provide a pipeline of excellence from and back into our communities that we serve.”

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University of La Verne Professor and Director of Teacher Education Betina Hsieh, Ph.D., said, “There is still a large demographic diversity gap between the teachers that serve K-12 students and the students themselves. Research has shown that students of all racial and ethnic backgrounds view teachers of color favorably, and students of color perform better when they have teachers of color. We are excited to break down some of those barriers in teacher education by providing multiple pathways to subject-matter competencies, creating opportunities for mentorships with successful teachers of color, finding sustainable funding sources to support our student success, and supporting our faculty to model and engage in culturally affirming, responsive and sustaining practices in teacher education.”

Pomona Unified School District (University of La Verne Partner)
Pomona Unified School District Deputy Superintendent Darren Knowles, “As an alumnus from the University of La Verne, we’ve done great work together in the past and we have always worked to build a better future for our kids here in Pamona Unified School District.”