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Holy Names University’s Urban Educators Project awards Oakland teachers with tuition-free teaching credentials

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(Oakland, CA – September 13, 2022) — This fall, Holy Names University (HNU) will award full-tuition scholarships to 20 Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) teachers who have demonstrated a commitment to Oakland’s students. The recipients of HNU’s Urban Educators Project scholarship have pledged to teach in OUSD schools for the next five years.  

In shared mission with OUSD, HNU’s Urban Educators Project strives to increase the number of fully credentialed teachers in urban schools, address the ongoing teacher shortage in the Bay Area, and increase the pool of teachers of color. Teachers who work in historically under-resourced schools with low teacher retention are prioritized for this scholarship.  

“By removing the financial barrier to receiving a teaching credential we hope to improve student success and disrupt inequity in urban school systems,” explained Dr. Kimberly Mayfield, HNU’s Dean of the School of Education and Liberal Arts and VP for External Relations and Strategic Partnerships. “We have this incredible opportunity to increase the diversity of our local teachers and make sure Oakland students see themselves reflected in the classroom.” 

OUSD Chief Talent Officer, Tara Gard, is thrilled with the HNU investment. “Our District Strategic Plan focuses on the development of diverse, representative educators who reflect the identities of Oakland students and families,” she said. “The OUSD Urban Teachers project aligns perfectly with our OUSD pathways that support the development of our classified, afterschool, and diverse aspiring educators. We know what a huge barrier post-baccalaureate education can be and this support from Holy Names University is critical for our educators and district.” 

“Teachers with credentials are better prepared and more likely to stay in the profession,” Dr. Mayfield affirmed. “We hope this project will help to keep our best teachers teaching in Oakland schools.” 

The School of Education and Liberal Arts at HNU specializes in preparing students to teach in urban settings. Students are encouraged to view their work through a lens of equity, and to engage in issues of race, language, and power in order to promote individual and community transformation. In addition to the Single Subject Credential, Multiple Subject Credential, and Education Specialist Credential, the School of Education offers a Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Education, Master of Arts and Certificate in Educational Therapy, and Bilingual Authorization. 

Funding for HNU’s Urban Educators Project is possible thanks to the generous R.H. and Jane Logan Scholarship fund. For more information about HNU’s Urban Educators Project please contact Dr. Kimberly Mayfield at


Holy Names University (HNU) has served a diverse student body in Oakland since 1868. Founded by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, the University is rooted in Catholic intellectual and spiritual traditions. HNU offers a student-centered, liberal arts and professional education. With small class sizes and courses in varied formats and schedules, HNU meets the needs of all learners, including first-generation students and working adults. Nestled in the Oakland hills of California, the University’s idyllic, 60-acre campus offers panoramic views of San Francisco Bay. For more information, visit