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What is SEEDS?

The Seawolves to Education Specialists (SEEDS) Project, funded by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education, aims to increase the number of diverse credentialed special education teachers with the knowledge and skills to serve children and youth with disabilities (ages 5-22). SEEDS recognizes that all students learn better with diverse teachers and that multiple aspects of diversity (e.g., race, ethnicity, disability status, language) enrich classroom communities.

SEEDS follows the OSEP attract, prepare, and retain initiative to support cohorts of student teachers pursuing a special education credential at Sonoma State University. SEEDS provides financial assistance, sustained advising, advanced coursework, and first-year teaching support.

SEEDS in the News:

Sonoma State News

Press Democrat

Who is eligible for SEEDS?

Students enrolled in the Education Specialist credential program at SSU are eligible to become SEEDS scholars.

What does it mean to be a SEEDS scholar?

SEEDS Scholars hold shared values and priorities for individuals with disabilities. SEEDS Scholars:

  • Understand there are many facets of diversity (e.g., race, ethnicity, language, disability status) and recognize the multiple social identities of their students
  • Value the funds of knowledge students bring to the classroom and use student skills, knowledge, and abilities to support student success
  • Recognize that all students benefit from having diverse teachers and from teachers who engage in culturally sustaining and trauma-responsive ways
  • Utilize high-leverage practices and evidence-based interventions to support the academic, behavioral, social, and emotional needs of their students with disabilities, and advocate for inclusion in schools and communities
  • Respect the perspectives of their students' families, and strive to build equitable partnerships with parents built on trust
  • Appreciate that learning occurs best within a community and actively engage with a community of fellow SEED scholars, students, current teachers, family members, and university faculty

What are the benefits of SEEDS?

SEED Scholars Receive:

  • Up to $ 22,000  in financial assistance. This assistance will be applied to registration/fees, purchasing textbooks, and fees for mandated assessments (like CalTPA and RICA)
  • Individual and group advising sessions 
  • Access to CBEST, CSET, and RICA online tutoring program
  • One Master level class, EDSP 522, paid for with tuition assistance
  • Support their first year of teaching including professional development sessions designed to maintain community and further refine teaching skills

What are the requirements of SEEDS?

SEED Scholars Must:

  • Participate in the SEEDS First-year teaching enhancement experience
    • Attend Summer, Fall & Spring meetings (3 total)
    • Take EDSP 522A (online with synchronous meetings) in the Fall
  • Commit to teaching as a special education teacher after completing the credential program. This service requirement will range from 2 to 4 years, depending on how many semesters the scholar received funding.

How do I apply for SEEDS?

Email Elizabeth Ducy for an application.

Please note: Final amount of the award may be adjusted based on the unmet need in financial aid award. 

Who do I contact for more information?


Elizabeth Ducy


Jennifer Mahdavi