CSU San Marcos -- September 8, 2003

Cal State San Marcos Opens Unusual Teaching Facility

Community support totaling more than $263,000 has allowed teacher educators at California State University San Marcos to open the Gateway Center for Middle Level Education on the campus of Woodland Park Middle School in San Marcos.

The Gateway Center is unique in California, and is one of only a handful of similar facilities in the United States. Its location on a middle school campus allows collaboration that strengthens the program in middle-level teacher education within the Cal State San Marcos College of Education. The Center also benefits the school, by providing teacher trainees who support its teachers.

“The Center has allowed us to double the number of credential students in the middle level teacher education program, said Dr. Janet McDaniel, who directs the program. “We can now offer in-service training to current teachers, and introduce a master’s program in middle level education,” she added. The development of these programs was funded with a $72,000 grant from the Hamilton-White Foundation.

Cal State San Marcos Trust Board members Tom and Teresa Bernard of Poway got the project rolling, according to Linda Fogerson, director of Corporate and Foundation Relations. Their initial gift, and an introduction to Phil White, president of the Hamilton-White Foundation, “got us off to a running start,” she said.

Additional funding from the Parker Foundation ($50,000), Price Charities ($25,000), and the Girard Foundation ($10,000) allowed the purchase of the re-locatable classroom. To outfit the Center with appropriate technology, Gateway Corporation donated $86,000 worth of computer equipment, including 35 laptops, two desktop systems and two portable cabinets.

Statewide, only three programs are available to prepare teachers specifically for the challenging middle school environment. McDaniel has a passion for properly preparing teachers for the important role they play in the lives of young adolescents.

“We see the Gateway Center for Middle Level Education becoming the hub for middle level teachers seeking to meet the special needs of their students,” said McDaniel.

Janet McDaniel can be contacted at mcdaniel@csusm.edu or by telephoning 760-750-4318.

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