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Pepperdine GSEP Students Recruited For Dr. Dre And Jimmy Iovine's New High School

Andre “Dr. Dre” Young, the famous rapper, record producer, and entrepreneur; and Jimmy Iovine, one of the music industry’s most prolific record producers are partnering with Pepperdine’s MA in Teaching (MAT) program as they open a new high school in Los Angeles. Announced in 2021, the high school located in Leimert Park will open this fall 2022 with 124 students and up to 250 students in the future.

Leimert Park is located in South Los Angeles and the local businesses and school communities have a rich history of serving African American and Latino families. Dre and Iovine are supporting those who have been marginalized with a lack of access to education. The focus of this high school will be interdisciplinary teaching for those who want to be entrepreneurs and innovators. 

The high school will be co-located on the Audubon Middle School campus and will be known as Regional High School #1 until an official name has been declared.

In addition, staffing needs to be underway for the Iovine and Young Center (Regional HS #1) with teachers who will be able to carry out the curriculum with hands-on instruction that strongly emphasizes real-world projects with top companies and non-profit organizations. 

Dr. Kenya E. Williams, Director, A-G from the Office of the Superintendent, and Ms. Akilah Calhoun, Principal, Iovine and Young Center (Regional HS #1) reached out to Pepperdine Graduate School of Education and Psychology (GSEP) for students graduating in the MAT program this year and looking to be employed at their high school.

Dr. Garcia-Ramos invited Dr. Williams and Ms. Calhoun to a classroom session where they presented the teaching opportunity to current MAT students and a list of 10-15 MAT students expressed interest.

Dr. Williams became familiar with the Pepperdine GSEP MAT program by Dorothy Kindred Cotton (2008 alumni) and said, “She was one of the most effective classroom teachers I have ever witnessed. I felt like it was a testament to Pepperdine’s program, so I definitely wanted to recruit teachers for Iovine and Young Center from your program.”

They connected with Dr. Reyna García Ramos, Program Director for the MAT program, to inquire about the opportunity to work with Pepperdine GSEP students. The 11-month program would have all students set to graduate with a degree and a California teaching credential this spring and ready to start work in fall 2022 which is when the new Iovine and Young Center (Regional HS #1) would be open.

Dr. Garcia-Ramos shares about the MAT program,

"MAT candidates received instruction from professors that are experts in their field. The MAT faculty have varied K-12 classroom backgrounds and when you combine that experience with the ongoing research and projects that faculty are engaged in, you have a program that places research and pedagogy at its core.  Now you add to that the fact that our candidates are placed with supportive and experienced Pepperdine University Mentor Teachers that provide candidates with great classroom support, well, it's is no wonder that our MAT graduates are sought after for their ability to be able to teach on the first day they become the teacher of record!"

Of the 2021 graduates who pursued a full-time position within PreK-12 environments, 100% successfully secured full-time employment. From that graduating class, Los Angeles Unified School District employed 33% of those students as teachers for the upcoming school year.

The Iovine and Young Center (Regional HS #1) will begin the interviewing process for teachers in a few weeks.