CLP director Naomi Castro awarded policy fellowship

28 Aug 2019

CLP director Naomi Castro was chosen as a fellow in the 2019 cohort of the California Education Policy Fellowship Program.

The fellowship gives participants the opportunity to develop their skills as policy makers and leaders through three weekend-long trainings.

Naomi will join 19 other faculty members, administrators, and policy makers working in K-12 and higher education who were also selected for the program. The chance to network with colleagues from higher ed, K-12, and education policy drew Naomi to the fellowship: “The more we get to work across systems, the better for students.”

Naomi has rich experience as an educator working across systems. She started her career teaching history and English at middle and high schools in Tucson, Arizona, and held several high school administrative positions there. Before joining CLP, Naomi was the Director for Career Pathways at El Camino College, helped start the Career Advancement Academy at El Camino, and supported the expansion of the Career Advancement Academy to other colleges in the Los Angeles area.

Naomi’s work at CLP also focuses on smoothing transitions between K-12 and higher ed, including by developing pathways, expanding dual enrollment, and integrating student supports with classroom instruction.

She’s interested in the interplay between work in the field and policy. “When the field leads policy,” Naomi says, “it can be positive, but if policy is uninformed by the field, that can lead to unintended consequences.” One recent example of a successful interplay was AB705, which requires community colleges to increase the likelihood that students will complete transfer-level coursework in English and math within one year.

“Work in the field made a really strong case for a specific set of basic skills reforms,” Naomi says, “and then AB 705 was passed.”

This year also marked another significant success for Naomi: She completed her doctorate in education, leadership, administration and policy at Pepperdine University’s Graduate School for Education and Psychology.

Congratulations from everyone at CLP, Naomi!