Campus: CSU, San Marcos -- September 30, 1999

CSU San Marcos Selected to Provide Key Support to CalStateTEACH

The California State University teacher training initiative, CalStateTEACH, has selected CSUSM Computing and Telecommunications to provide state wide technical support for approximately 400 students enrolled in the program.

CalStateTEACH is a new program, implemented for the first time this fall, aimed at allowing teachers using "emergency" credentials to get full certification. It is designed to accommodate the schedules of working teachers, who may be limited by childcare responsibilities or by remote locations, through the use of computer technology. For that reason, readily available and expert technical support for the program was a major consideration, according to CalStateTEACH Director Jodi Servatius.

"We put out a request for bids, and eventually visited three locations to check them out," Servatius said. "We were looking for a high energy level and commitment. We wanted people who have a passion for what they do. At San Marcos, we found the quality of the staff to be excellent -- really top notch," she added.

CSUSM will provide 83 hours per week of telephone support for the approximately 400 CalStateTEACH students in all parts of California. Students can contact a "help desk" by calling a toll-free number, they can e-mail questions to the support staff, or they can consult a web site, being developed by CSUSM support staff, to check answers to frequently asked questions.

The CSUSM effort supports two of three key elements of the CalStateTEACH program. Under the plan, CalStateTEACH students study on their own a carefully constructed series of materials, using some of them in their classrooms for learning experience. These materials are accessed through the Internet by computer, using a program called "Web CT."

A second phase of the program is on-line interaction with other students and with a CSU faculty member who serves as a mentor for each group of 18-20 students. Again, use of the computer and the Internet is fundamental.

Finally, there is personal interaction when the faculty mentor visits each student in the student's work environment for observation and discussion.

"The on-line aspects of this program are very significant," Servatius emphasized. "If the student is not properly supported in that component, they can't succeed. CalStateTEACH students are already totally hassled by their work obligations and family lives. They are very pressured. Under these circumstances it becomes critical that the support services be excellent," she said.

"We are very pleased to have been chosen to support this important program," said CSUSM Dean of Computing and Telecommunications Norm Nicolson. "We see this as playing our part in making CalStateTEACH a success and in helping CSU San Marcos become known around the state for its excellence in technology."

CSUSM Computing and Telecommunications is responsible for all academic and administrative computing, office automation and telephone services at the University. The unit maintains instructional technology facilities and equipment, student computer laboratories and more than 1,000 computers used by students, faculty and staff.

CSU San Marcos is one of the newest campuses within the 23-member California State University system. Located 40 miles north of San Diego, the University serves approximately 5,850 students. The campus grants degrees in 19 undergraduate majors, 10 graduate programs and 15 teacher credential programs. It opened its doors in 1990 and accepted its first four-year students in 1995.

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