Governor and California’s Higher Education Leaders Create Initiative to Prepare and Produce More Mathematics and Science Teachers

Contacts: Governor’s Office: Margita Thompson, Vince Sollitto, (916) 445-4571
CSU: Colleen Bentley-Adler, (562) 951-4801, caba@calstate.edu
UC: Ravi Poorsina, (510) 587-6194, ravi.poorsina@ucop.edu

(May 31, 2005) – Governor Schwarzenegger, California State University Chancellor Charles B. Reed and University of California President Robert C. Dynes today announced the creation of a new program to prepare more math and science teachers for the state’s K-12 schools.

California’s schools are experiencing a critical need for more fully qualified math and science teachers. In turn, the state’s industries needs a better qualified workforce whose skills are stronger in science, math and technology if the state’s economy is to recover and grow.

In the compact agreed to last year by the governor, CSU and UC, the governor called on the state’s two public university systems to work together to develop a program to prepare more teachers in these critical areas. The governor pledged $1 million for this program in his May Revision to the state budget.

“If California is to be a leader in tomorrow's economy, we need to put more emphasis on science and math instruction,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “This Science and Math Initiative will expand the efforts of our UC and CSU systems, with the goal of graduating at least four times as many new science and math teachers by the year 2010. The California Science and Math Initiative is the right investment for California's future.”

The California State University is the state’s largest producer of teachers, and, through this new program, will expand its existing capacity to recruit and prepare teachers in these critical shortage areas.

“A core mission of the California State University is to prepare the state’s teachers to meet the changing needs of our K-12 schools and our state’s industries. The CSU has the faculty, the infrastructure, the expertise and the commitment to step up to meet California’s growing need for highly qualified math and science teachers in the public schools,” said CSU Chancellor Reed. “It is a challenge we have already begun to address, and, with this additional funding, we stand ready to do more.”

The University of California, which is the lead on this new program, has launched a campaign to attract private support to the effort. At this point, more than $4 million has been raised.

“Improving achievement in science and mathematics in our public schools is critical to securing the economic future of California,” said UC President Robert C. Dynes. “Throughout its history, UC has worked to address the real challenges confronting the people of California, and today the challenge in science and mathematics achievement demands our attention. We are eager to bring the educational resources of the University of California to help create better futures for our state’s young people and to help preserve California’s position of global economic leadership.”

With 23 campuses serving every region of the state, the CSU produced 12,798 teachers in 2002-03, representing 59 percent of the credentials granted. The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing reported that only 1,466 – less than 7 percent – of all credentials in 2002-03 were in math and science. More than half of these – 748 – were awarded to students who completed CSU teacher preparation programs.

Twenty-two CSU campuses offer credential programs in mathematics, and 17 offer credential programs in science. Feeding these credential programs, in effect, are CSU undergraduate programs that produce new baccalaureate degree recipients in mathematics and the sciences. Overall, the CSU produced 510 mathematics, 1,802 life science, 8 physical science, 244 chemistry, 110 geosciences and 101 physics baccalaureate degree graduates in 2002-03.

With the added funds, the CSU can attract these degree recipients into teaching by:

  • Developing routes for math and science majors to work in schools and get a credential along with their bachelor of science degree, thus shortening their time to a teaching career.
  • Encouraging math and science majors to consider teaching through incentives, fellowships, and student loan forgiveness partnerships with business/community to support students in their fieldwork or internships.
  • Replicating the current “blended programs” in math and science at three CSU campuses so that students at other CSUs can get their math or science degree and credential simultaneously.
  • Establishing a student and family support pipeline through outreach and high school counselors and teachers to support students in middle and high school who come from groups whose college going rates have been low.
  • Partnering with low performing schools that have mandatory tutoring requirements to place undergraduates in tutor positions.

The CSU also has partnered with the Boeing Corporation to establish a Professional Development Program for current high school math teachers. That program, which is beginning its second year, is designed to ensure that teachers have the required skills so that high school students fully develop their math skills so they succeed at college-level work.

In addition, several CSU campuses, including Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Cal Poly Pomona, CSU Dominguez Hills and Sacramento State, have created specific programs focused on enhanced achievement by K-12 students in math and science, particularly underrepresented students.

CSU’s Teaching training programs can be accessed at www.calstate.edu/teachered/. A description of UC’s “California Teach” program is available at www.universityofcalifornia.edu/academics/1000teachers.

The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, more than 400,000 students and 42,000 faculty and staff. Since the system was created in 1961, it has awarded about 2 million degrees, about 82,000 annually. The CSU is renowned for the quality of its teaching and for the job-ready graduates it produces. Its mission 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. See www.calstate.edu.


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Last Updated: March 31, 2005

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