Two commencement ceremonies planned to celebrate the success of alternative credentialing program

The first 133 participants of California State University’s innovative CalStateTEACH, an alternative teacher education program for elementary school teachers, will be recognized in two commencement ceremonies on March 25 and April 1 for students throughout the state.

"These teachers are filling the urgent need for skilled and experienced teachers in our elementary schools," said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed. "They should be commended for their dedication and commitment to teach California’s children."

CalStateTEACH is targeted to teachers who need to complete a Multiple Subject Credential with emphasis on Cross-Cultural, Language, and Academic Development (CLAD), and are unable to attend a CSU campus on a regular basis because of work schedules, family obligations or distance from a CSU campus.

Approximately 30,000 teachers in California are not fully credentialed, but hold either a waiver or an emergency permit.

CalStateTEACH provides high quality education by offering a personalized program that combines independent study with on-line support by accessing the latest in technology including Internet, video, and print materials. The coursework consists of assignments and activities that integrate the teaching experiences in the classroom. The flexibility of the program is designed to allow independent study at the time and place of the student’s choice, which usually revolves around their teaching schedules. For additional support, teachers are assigned to regional centers located at CSU Fresno/Monterey Bay, CSU Hayward, CSU Fullerton, Cal Poly Pomona, and Cal State L.A.

One great advantage of the program is that it delivers quality instruction to teachers who live in remote areas miles away from a CSU campus. For example, Cheryl Lira is a second grade teacher at Avalon Elementary School located on Santa Catalina Island in Southern California.

"Before I found out about CalStateTEACH, I considered leaving the island and my family to get my teaching credential," said Lira, who has lived on the island for nine years with her husband and her 5-year old daughter. "The program allowed me to keep my family together, teach, and get my credential. CalStateTEACH helped me grow personally and professionally as an educator and my students have greatly benefited."

Although Lira and other teachers had no regular university courses to attend, they did have to attend five Saturday seminars that were part of the program’s requirements. Students are also required to stay on schedule with course work.

"I would recommend this program to those who are self-motivated and know how to balance their time." Lira said. "You have to be self-structured and organized in the time that you are allotted to turn in your work."

The graduation ceremonies are not only intended to recognize students who have received certification, but also to celebrate the ongoing success of the program, which is modeled after the successful British Open University program. The March 25 commencement ceremony is for students who reside in northern California and the central valley. It will take place at the Walnut Creek Marriott at 2 p.m. For Southern California residents, the graduation ceremony is April 1 at the Irvine Marriott.

The CSU educates 60 percent of the state’s teachers, and CalStateTEACH is one of the many initiatives CSU has implemented in recent years to improve the quality and quantity of California’s teachers.

22 March 2001 Error processing SSI file

Last Updated: March 2001

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