Dr. Robert Cichowski Director, Center for Excellence in Science and Math Education

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Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo CalStateTEACH Transforming Teacher Preparation Through Technology

  • Dr. Robert Cichowski

  • Director, Center for Excellence in Science and Math Education

  • Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo

  • Dr. Helene T. Mandell

  • Systemwide Director, CalStateTEACH

Objectives of the Program

Forming a Unique Partnership

  • Cal Poly—Center for Excellence in Science & Math Education (CESaME)

  • Statewide mission

  • Content experts in Mathematics and Sciences

  • CalStateTEACH:

  • Statewide administrative infrastructure

  • Delivery system allowing for access


  • CESaME was established in 2004 as a response to the statewide need for science and math educators in California.

  • It is a university-wide endeavor involving the Colleges of Science and Math, Education, Engineering, Liberal Arts, and Agriculture

CESaME Goals

  • To recruit and prepare more well qualified K-12 teachers in science and mathematics.

  • To provide professional development for K-12 science and math teachers.

  • To promote careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

  • To study and serve as a repository / disseminator of best practices in K-16 science and mathematics


  • California State University's innovative teacher preparation program

  • Fall 2005 began its 7th year

  • Developed in 1998 in response to a shortage of elementary school teachers

  • Proven to be a viable alternative route to teacher certification

Central Components of the Program

Creating New Pathways

  • Undergraduate Degree

  • Early deciders

  • Combination

    • CST model for student teaching away from campus (“Visitor Program”)
  • Post Baccalaureate

    • CalStateTEACH program modified for single subject interns and/or student teachers
  • Second Credential

    • Methods course and CSET prep

Experience Teaching with Technology

  • Course management system

  • Paperless environment “real-time”

  • Online lesson/unit planning tools

  • ePortfolio

  • Synchronous and asynchronous discussion

Recommendations for Others Considering Implementation

Virtual Discussions

  • Classroom discussion considered an important part of student learning

  • Need online communication that simulates the creation of a classroom community

Suggested Pacing Guides

  • Not all teacher candidates are on the same assignments, so discussion is not relevant or accessible to all

  • Solution: posted a “suggested” pacing schedule to help interns pace themselves

External Challenges

  • Change perception of “boutique” nature of program

  • Communicate “alternative certification” NOT competition for campus-based programs

  • Delineate audience that fits this model

Internal Challenges

  • How to determine program “fit” for prospective candidates and faculty

  • Retain integrated nature of curriculum in face of increasing state credentialing requirements

  • Establishing meaningful faculty governance in a virtual community

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