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University News

First-Year Teachers From Cal State Fullerton
Perform Above CSU Average in Most Areas

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April 15, 2004 :: No. 214

Members of The Blended Teacher Education Program
Graduates of the Blended Teacher Education Program's Class of 2003.

During the 2002-2003 school year, 709 Cal State Fullerton students received preliminary teaching credentials. And most of these first-year teachers are doing just fine or better, according to recent survey results released by the California State University. Statewide, CSU is the leader in educating California’s teachers, training nearly 60 percent of all credentialed teachers in California.

More than 2,300 school principals participated in the CSU survey to determine the preparedness of first-year teachers who completed CSU teacher preparation programs. Each assessed the preparation of a specific teacher. Principals supervised these teachers all year, observed them during instruction and discussed teaching practices with them.

“Overall, we are very pleased with our scores,” said L.Y. “Mickey” Hollis, acting associate dean of Fullerton’s School of Education. “Of course, we are always looking for ways to improve, and that’s the real benefit of these surveys. It can help us focus our efforts on areas of programs we wish to enhance.”

In most areas, Cal State Fullerton exceeded the CSU average and continues to modify programs to enhance teacher preparation in various areas.

“We are one of the major engines driving teacher education in Orange County,” Hollis noted. “We have one of the strongest programs in the state, and our recent data indicates that not only are our students qualified, they generally exceed expectations.

“I give a lot of credit to the top-notch faculty who are teaching in our education school, as well as those teaching the individual subjects,” he said. “First, the faculty model good teaching methods. Secondly, they know how to motivate and get their students excited about the subject areas. Finally, we have wonderful working relationships with our partnership schools, that is, schools where our students serve as interns or student teachers.

“Many of these schools have beginning teacher programs that our students find beneficial when they first begin their teaching careers. These schools are scattered over 74 school districts in Southern California,” he added, noting that 69 percent of CSUF students are involved in student teaching and 20 percent in internship programs.

“Without our partnership schools, we couldn’t offer the quality of experiences,” said Hollis.

“Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t also point out the high caliber of students in the teacher education program,” he added. “We have high standards for students in this program.”

Listed below are the percentage breakdowns from the most recent CSU survey. These figures show the percentage of principals who believe CSUF teachers are adequately to well-prepared in the following topic areas, alongside CSU averages:

• Teaching multiple subjects (elementary) CSUF 84% — CSU 80%
   
• Teaching single subjects (secondary education) CSUF 95% — CSU 92%
   
• Teaching special education CSUF 83% — CSU 85%
   
• Reading (K-8) CSUF 95 % — CSU 89%
   
• Mathematics (K-8) CSUF 95 % — CSU 90%
   
• Science (K-8) CSUF 82 % — CSU 67%
   
• History (K-8) CSUF 83 % — CSU 64%
   
• Visual and Performing Arts (K-8) CSUF 71 % — CSU 67%
   
• Physical Education (K-8) CSUF 74 % — CSU 69%
   
• Health (K-8) CSUF 77 % — CSU 67%

In addition to topic areas, the survey also focused on skills, including planning instruction and assessment. The percentages reflect teachers rated as adequately to well-prepared:

• Planning instruction CSUF 87 % — CSU 82%
   
• Managing instruction CSUF 86 % — CSU 82%
   
• Diversity and equity CSUF 80 % — CSU 77%
   
• Responsive to training CSUF 87 % — CSU 81%
   
• Assessment/Reflection CSUF 86 % — CSU 81%
   
• Fieldwork in schools CSUF 84 % — CSU 79%

Hollis sees these figures as benchmarks for enhancing programs. For example, he would like to see better preparation among teachers in the areas of visual and performing arts, health and physical education. Hollis also hopes to enhance teacher training when it comes to teaching students who are not native English speakers.

“With more than 50 different languages spoken by students in Southern California schools, being able to work with these culturally diverse student groups will become even more important,” he said.

“Everyone focuses on reading and math, as they should, because these are critical skills,” Hollis said. “However, we also want our teachers to be well-prepared to teach in other subject areas. With concerns about the increase in childhood obesity, I think physical education will become more important to the general public as well.”

According to Hollis, of the Cal State Fullerton students who received their teaching credentials, 60 percent received their bachelor’s degrees at Fullerton, while 12 percent received their undergraduate degrees at another CSU campus. The remainder came from schools other than those in the CSU system.

When they graduate from Cal State Fullerton, 46 percent work in suburban schools (middle to upper income); 29 percent work in metropolitan schools (middle to lower income); 23 percent work in urban city schools (with a high population of low-income students) and two percent in rural schools.

Media Contacts: L. Y. “Mickey” Hollis, acting associate dean, School of Education at 657-278-7350 or mhollis@fullerton.edu
Valerie Orleans, Public Affairs at 657-278-4540 or vorleans@fullerton.edu

 


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