Cal State University, Long Beach (CSULB) announced Friday that students studying in the Urban Teacher Education Academy (UTEACH) will benefit from new stipends and scholarships thanks to a gift of $500,000 from SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union (FCU). The program will be renamed SchoolsFirst FCU UTEACH.

“SchoolsFirst FCU has long been a tremendous partner for CSULB and this most recent gift will truly benefit students by providing additional access to our groundbreaking UTEACH program,” said Andrea Taylor, vice president of university relations and development, in a statement. “This partnership is a wonderful example of philanthropy leading to more opportunities for students who will then go out and change our community for the better.”

In addition to supporting the SchoolsFirst FCU UTEACH program for the next five years, five $5,000 scholarships will be provided each of those years along with $1,000 to $2,000 stipends for all program participants.

“Supporting education and professional development is more important than ever; educators build the future, and we believe the work they do is incredibly noble and important in helping to form the next generation of leaders. We are honored to support a program that helps prepare teachers for the future,” said Bill Cheney, president and CEO of SchoolsFirst FCU, in a statement.

SchoolsFirst FCU UTEACH is based on the medical profession’s postgraduate training program, according to the announcement, and offers year-long, on-site teaching residencies that provide its participants with direct experience in local urban schools in the Long Beach Unified School District.

According to the University, the program has led to dramatic improvements in how teachers are prepared and has changed for the better the experiences of low-income children in urban schools.

The $500,000 gift is part of the $225 million Declare Campaign for CSULB, the first comprehensive fundraising campaign in the University’s history, as well as one of the largest in the system. The campaign encourages all students, faculty, staff and community members to more pro-actively participate in achieving the University’s mission: “to provide highly-valued educational opportunities through superior teaching, research, creative activity and service.”

For more information about SchoolsFirst FCU, click here.

Asia Morris is a Long Beach native covering arts and culture for the Long Beach Post. You can reach her @hugelandmass on Twitter and Instagram and at [email protected].