Preparing Underrepresented Educators to Realize their Teaching Ambitions (PUERTA)

Preparing Underrepresented Educators to Realize their Teaching Ambitions (PUERTA)
Sonoma State University
Academic Level
Issue Area
Support Services
Key Personnel
Program Focus


As a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), Sonoma State University is committed to the recruitment, retention and preparation of our students in order to go back into their community and become educators. This is a grow your own model in teacher preparation. The best teachers are those who reflect the population they serve.

PUERTA Project has three primary goals: Increase Hispanic and Latina/o student persistence and graduation rates, increase the number of Hispanic and Latino students who earn a teaching credential, and increase the number of students who transfer to SSU from a two-year HSI.

Program Description

There is a high need for educators of color in California, specifically in the field of bilingual education. PUERTA aims to increase teachers of color who are also linguistically competent.

PUERTA implemented the following activities at SSU that focus on achieving project goals such as implementing a continuum of academic and student support services, Summer Bridge programming, outreach and career development support, improving first-year Latinx students’ access to General Education (GE) courses, and providing professional development engagement for aspiring teachers.


  • Between 2019-20 and 2020-21 Latinx students transferring to SSU from a community college increased 40% from 234 to 327.
  • Between 2019-20 and 2020-21 enrolling in a SSU credential program increased from 15 to 52, earning a teaching credential at SSU increased from 6 to 34.
  • Between fall 2019 and fall 2020, 50% of Latinx students completed 30 units in their first year of college, compared to 59% of PUERTA students. 
  • Latinx students increased their retention from 83% to 90%. 100% of transfer students returned.

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