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California State University Ed.D. Program Produces
Teacher of the Year

Honoree’s innovative teaching approach validates the program’s intent to improve and reform public education.

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(December 20, 2010) – Kadhir Rajagopal, a graduate of the California State University’s newly implemented Educational Doctorate program, has been was named a 2011 California Teacher of the Year by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell.

Rajagopal is now one of five California teachers to serve as education ambassadors for the state, and in his new role is called upon to talk about some of the challenges.  His service as an advocate for public education improvement reflects his studies in the Ed.D. program at Sacramento State, which is intended to create education leaders focused on improving learning outcomes.

Legislation authorizing the CSU to offer the Ed.D. was carried by Senator Jack Scott and signed into law in September 2005.  Sacramento State was one of seven CSU campuses to offer the program in fall 2007, with the first CSU Ed.D. class graduating in 2010.

“The CSU’s Ed.D. program was designed to create future leaders focused on reforming and improving public education,” said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed.  “This recognition is another testimony to the program’s success.  Education is vital to California’s future and leaders such as Rajagopal will be instrumental in improving outcomes so our future remains bright.”

Rajagopal teaches Algebra to at-risk students at Sacramento’s Grant Union High School - such as those who are in foster homes or whose parents are incarcerated.   As an Ed.D. student at Sacramento State, he developed an innovative educational model, which is based on relating complex concepts to topics at-risk students understand. 

"Teaching is an avenue to reach these students," Rajagopal said. "If you can get kids through math, it can change their life. They feel they can do anything."

Rajagopal views the Teacher of the Year Award as another means to get his program out to others, and thereby to more students. "I've always wanted to make an impact for student populations labeled 'at risk,'" Rajagopal says. "The relationships you make with them can save their lives."

For more information on the Teacher of the Year Award, visit www.cde.ca.gov/ta/sr/ct/index.asp

For more information on the CSU’s Ed.D. programs, visit http://www.calstate.edu/app/EdD/

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The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, approximately 433,000 students year round and 44,000 faculty and staff. Since the system was created in 1961, it has awarded nearly 2.5 million degrees, about 90,000 annually. The CSU is renowned for the quality of its teaching and for the job-ready graduates it produces. A recent economic report found that the CSU supports more than 150,000 jobs statewide, annually. The engine driving job creation is more than $17 billion in economic activity that directly results from CSU-related spending that generates $5.43 for every dollar the state invests. The mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of the people of California. With its commitment to excellence, diversity and innovation, the CSU is the university system that is working for California.

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