In the pilot year (2005-06) of the model's implementation, the HSU Elementary Education Program and EBCC launched a distance teaching internship cohort based at the Elementary Charter School in Oakland.
The interns are enrolled as EBCC AmeriCorps Education Award Only Members and earn a modest stipend of $18,000 (plus benefits) in exchange for 1,700 hours of service at the Charter School.
In structuring the EBCC internships as full-time apprenticeships, our theory is that immersion in daily life at the school, without having to assume responsibilities as the "teacher of record" for the credentialing year, will broaden and deepen the learning opportunities for our student teachers.
HSU and EBCC believe that the integration of the interns into the fabric of the school, from the EBCC staff orientation before school starts to the final day of school in June, allows credential candidates more time to experience and begin to make connections between teachers' work, learning, and the organization and politics of schools and school systems.
EBCC offers a very different pre-service teaching placement than is possible in the traditional HSU elementary education credential program.
Socioeconomically, 39 percent of EBCC families are eligible for free lunch, 22 percent are eligible for reduced-priced lunches, and 39 percent are above the qualifying level for lunches.
Prior to opening the K-5 Charter School, the non-profit founded the EBCC Charter High School to assist drop-out youth in returning to school and satisfying the requirements for the GED.