Campus: CSU Fullerton -- March 18, 2005

First-Year Teachers From Cal State Fullerton Perform Above CSU Average in All Areas

During the 2003-2004 school year, first-year teachers from Cal State Fullerton performed above the California State University average in most categories in which teachers are rated. In fact, most of the 1,600 first-year teachers from CSUF are doing just fine or better, according to survey results released in mid-March.

An annual CSU teacher preparation program evaluation reports on how well the CSU campuses are preparing instructors for teaching elementary, middle and high school students.

More than 1,700 school principals, as well as first-year teachers, participated in the survey to determine the preparedness of the first-year teachers who completed CSU teacher preparation programs. Each supervisor assessed the preparation of specific teachers all year, observed them during instruction and discussed teaching practices with them. In addition, teachers also rated themselves on their preparedness and abilities (and, in most instances, rated themselves lower than their supervisors did).

"Overall, we are very pleased with our scores," said Ashley Bishop, dean of Fullerton's College of Education. "We are one of the major engines driving teacher education in Orange County, and we have one of the strongest programs in the state. Our recent data indicates that not only are our students qualified, they often exceed expectations. In fact, looking carefully at the CSU evaluation data, it is clear that 85 percent of school site administrators rate Fullerton's first -year teachers as being adequately to well prepared to assume instructional responsibilities in their schools. We certainly look to have 100 percent of school principals find our students well prepared and we will use the evaluation study as a guide to areas needed renewed focus.

"I give a great deal of credit for our strong scores to our faculty who teach in the College of Education," Bishop continued. "First, faculty members model excellent instructional practices. Secondly, they know how to motivate and get their students excited about the subject areas. Finally, we have wonderful working relationships with our partner schools, that is, schools where our students serve as interns or student teachers."

Many of these schools have beginning teacher programs that individuals find beneficial when they begin their teaching careers," he added. "These schools are scattered over 74 school districts in Southern California."

Listed below are the percentage breakdowns from the most recent CSU evaluation. These figures show the percentages of principals who believe first-year CSUF teachers are adequately to well prepared in the following topic areas, alongside CSU averages:

  • Teaching multiple subjects (elementary)  CSUF-85.1 | CSU-80.4
  • Teaching single subjects (secondary education)  CSUF-86.9 | CSU-80.7
  • Education specialist  CSUF-84.9 | CSU-80.8
Listed below are the percentage breakdowns showing the results of subject area preparation, as determined by both principals and teachers:
  • Reading (K-8)  CSUF-88.3 | CSU-83.2
  • Mathematics (K-8)  CSUF-87.4 | CSU-83.7
  • Science (K-8)  CSUF-81.2 | CSU-73.7
  • History (K-8)  CSUF-82.4 | CSU-74.3
In addition to topic areas, the survey also focused on skills. The percentages listed below reflect teachers rated as adequately to well prepared by their supervisors:
  • Know and understand subject area and curriculum  CSUF-91 | CSU-89
  • Organize and manage class instruction  CSUF-87 | CSU-84
  • Meet instructional needs of students who are English
    language learners  CSUF-81 | CSU-76
  • Use an effective mix of teaching activities  CSUF-89 | CSU-82
  • Meet instructional needs of students of diverse cultural backgrounds  CSUF-88 | CSU-81
  • Meet instructional needs of students with special learning needs  CSUF-77 | CSU-72
  • Learn students' interests and motivations and teach accordingly  CSUF-87 | CSU-82
  • Use class time efficiently  CSUF-91 | CSU-83
"With more than 50 different languages spoken by students in Southern California schools, being able to work with culturally diverse students must continue to be an essential instructional priority," Bishop said.

"The current educational focus is on the importance of math, science and literacy," he continued. "However, we also want our students to be well-prepared to teach a rich variety of subjects in a wide variety of instructional settings."

According to Bishop, of the Cal State Fullerton students who received teaching credentials, 60 percent earned their bachelor's degree at Fullerton, while 12 percent earned their undergraduate degrees at another CSU campus. The remainder completed degree programs at campuses other than those in the CSU system.

When they graduate from Cal State Fullerton, 46 percent work in suburban schools; 29 percent work in metropolitan schools; 23 percent work in urban city schools; and two percent in rural schools.

Media Contacts:
Ashley Bishop, Dean, College of Education, (714) 278-3335,
Valerie Orleans, Public Affairs, (714) 278-4540, vorleans@fullerton.edus

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