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San Diego State University

Project CORE

About Project CORE

Project CORE’s fifth year of programming brought more innovation into the preparation of bilingual teachers and continued education for all teachers of multilingual learners. Project CORE created a comprehensive professional development pipeline for bilingual teacher candidates to Master’s degree candidates. Having reached full implementation in the 2014-2015 academic year, with the sponsorship of San Diego County, teachers can enroll in the SDSU Department of Dual Language and English Learner Education’s (DLE) Master’s degree program.

“The Dual Language for Academic Literacy Certificate is a valued added opportunity to increase teacher capacity and leadership in [Dual Language education], and it may also serve as job assurance” (Emma Sanchez, Executive Director, Language Acquisition and Service and Support, Chula Vista Elementary School District).

The project has made impact beyond San Diego County! Project CORE’s collaborative model of professional development with the university, county office of education, and local school districts, has drawn national attention among researchers and practitioners. In its latest 2014 publication the Association of Mexican American Educators Journal, “Steps toward unifying Dual Language programs, Common Core State Standards, and Critical Pedagogy: Oportunidades, estrategias y retos” (Alfaro, Duran, Hunt, & Aragon, 2014).

In May 2015, 44 bilingual teacher candidates in the SDSU Department of Dual Language and English Learner Education (DLE) are prepared to graduate with their Multiple Subjects or Single Subjects teacher credential and Bilingual Authorization. As they begin to secure teaching positions for the 2015-16 school year, bilingual credential candidates (Project CORE’s pre-service teacher participants) report an overwhelmingly positive response from potential employers about their strong knowledge base in biliteracy and bicultural development and about their ability to transfer this knowledge to the creation of standards-aligned instruction for Dual Language and English Learners. As outlined in the full list of Project CORE’s institute topics for pre-service teachers, the project has been instrumental in building their capacities as Dual Language teachers. Consequently, employers are taking notice:

“Project CORE graduates really stand out in the interview process! The teacher I hired was able to articulate and design a lesson that effectively integrated the Common Core standards. Most significant, her knowledge and confidence about students’ critical biliteracy development was evident in the lesson she taught as part of her interview process” (Principal of a Dual Language school in one of the project’s partner school districts, Chula Vista Elementary School District).

The launch of the online certificate program in August 2014 brought record numbers of students enrolled in the DLE Department’s continuing education programs for teachers of Dual Language and English Learners (Project CORE’s in-service teacher participants). Fifty teachers enrolled in one of the two of DLE’s certificate programs; either the Dual Language for Academic Literacy Certificate or English Language Development for Academic Literacy Certificate. These teachers will leave the program with knowledge of the applicability of the Common Core State Standards, while recognizing and utilizing critical literacy in order to assist English Learners through a socially just lens.


What can be more exciting than record numbers of students enrolled in biliteracy development programs? Approximately 40% of DLE’s bilingual teacher credential program graduates from the previous year continue their professional development by enrolling in either the certificate or Master’s degree program. Furthermore, approximately 35% of certificate program graduates continue to the Master’s degree program.

Our Team

Cristina Alfaro, Ph.D., Project Director and Principal Investigator

Cristina Alfaro, Ph.D.
Project Director and Principal Investigator

Jorge Cuevas Antillón 

Jorge Cuevas Antillón
Coordinator, Language Acquisition and Biliteracy

 Melissa Navarro
Melissa Navarro
ELD and Dual Language Academy Literacy Certificate 
Program Coordinator 

 Xochitl Archey
Xochitl Archey
Research Assistant 

 Sandra Cajigas, Project CORE Recruiter
  Sandy Cajigas

Tamara Collins-Parks, Ph.D., Project CORE Pre-Service/Institute Coordinator 
Tamara Collins-Parks, Ph.D.
   MA & Certificate Advisor 

Carolyn Saldivar
Carolyn Saldivar
Project Manager


Contact Us

Administrative Assistant: Carolyn Saldivar
Phone: 619-594-1836
Office: NE 83A
Address: College of Education
San Diego State University
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182-1152

Additional Info

Program FAQs