The California State University and the California Community Colleges have joined together in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) aimed at increasing the number of qualified math and science teachers and to establish clearer pathways for transfer to the CSU.
California faces a shortage of fully credentialed and qualified math and science teachers, and particularly teachers from diverse backgrounds that are represented in the K-12 student population. The MOU is part of a larger CSU initiative launched in 2004 to at least double the number of math and science teachers over the next five years to a minimum of 1,500 new teachers in these fields by 2009-2010.
“The community colleges are the largest source of transfer students for the CSU and it is vital that we partner together to help students transfer into teaching programs and complete the essential lower-division coursework,” said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed. “We want to provide the needed resources and support for students interested in teaching careers, particularly in the math and science fields where the need is the greatest.”
Chancellor Marshall (Mark) Drummond noted that California's 109 community colleges enroll more than half of all freshmen college students in the state and the majority of students from underrepresented communities, as well as serve as feeder schools to all 23 CSU campuses.
“Because of this fact, we're in a unique position to coordinate our effort with CSU to increase the number of fully credentialed and qualified math and science teachers in California,” Chancellor Drummond said.
As part of the agreement, resources made available through recently enacted legislation (Senate Bill 70 Scott, Statutes of 2005) will be targeted to aligned programs. The CSU and the CCC will provide web-based resources on recruiting, academic advising and financial aid to transfer centers at the community colleges, with details on grants, scholarships and loan programs available. Math and science faculty from both the CSU and the CCCs will be tasked with identifying a minimum of six units of lower-division coursework in math and science majors that focus on teacher preparation. In addition, CSU campuses will form a series of advisory groups in connection with teacher recruitment projects that include representatives from community colleges, CSU math, science and education faculty to assist in the design of programs and courses for math and science transfer students.
In addition, the CCC and CSU math and science faculty will partner with local high school math and science instructors to align and integrate curriculum and field experiences, provide mentoring to students interested in entering the field and provide funding for community college students to serve as paid tutors to develop their K-12 teaching experience.