Shelly Smith
Shelly Smith is currently a paraprofessional at Nishimoto Elementary


Shelly Smith

Seleyna Mendoza

The first Californian CSEA member to earn her Bachelor’s degree and teaching credential through the no-cost college credential program.

By Seleyna Mendoza, Managing Editor

Madera Unified School District para-professional, Shelly Smith, makes history as the first person in California to earn a bachelor’s degree and teaching credential through the free college program provided to California School Employees Association (CSEA) members.

Smith has been working in the education field for the past 18 years and has always dreamed of becoming a teacher. The district is proud of her accomplishment and hopes staff continues to take advantage of the different resources provided by their unions to assist them in achieving their goals and furthering their education.

Cheri Giddens, CSEA chapter 169 president, said about the exciting news, “I’m so proud an employee from MUSD was the first to achieve this goal!”

The California School Employees Association is the largest classified school employee union in the country. All Madera Unified classified employees are typically members of the CSEA union. Classified employees consist of administrative assistants, bus drivers, paraprofessionals academic assistants, and much more. Not only does the union lead the negotiation for the Collective Bargaining Agreements between CSEA and the District, it also share resources to help members further their education.

According to the CSEA website, any CSEA member, whether they are active or retired, and all their family members can benefit from the program. All classes are offered online in an 8-week format. The CSEA no-cost college credential program allowed Smith to pursue her degree through Central State University, an accredited university in Ohio.

No-cost programs offered:
  • Bachelor of Science in Education (non-teacher licensure)
  • Bachelor of Science in Education inclusive of a teacher license (Multiple Subject)
  • Bachelor of Science in Education inclusive of a teacher license (Education Specialist-Mild/Moderate Disabilities)
  • Bachelor of Science in Human­ities-Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Management

We invite any CSEA member who is interested in the program or other benefits visit the CSEA website at


Recent News / Novedades