Public Affairs

Educational Policy News

May 12, 2010

CSU Ed.D. Program to Graduate First-Class

This summer more than 100 students will complete their Doctor of Education degrees under the CSU's independent doctoral degree program as the first graduates under the law enacted in 2005. Recognizing the urgent need for well-prepared administrators to lead public school and community college reform efforts, the state supported CSU's request to offer graduate level instruction leading to the Doctor of Education degree (Ed.D.). Senate Bill 724 authored by now California Community College President Jack Scott and signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger in 2005, granted the CSU for the first time independent authority to offer doctorate degree programs.

A total of 11 CSU campuses offer Ed.D. programs in educational leadership with eight programs focused specifically for community college leaders. Approximately 150 candidates entered the program in its first year of operation (2007) with two-thirds expected to earn their Ed.D. by the end of the summer. This year, the program is serving 243 candidates preparing for community college leadership roles and 333 in the P-12 leadership track.

Students in the Ed.D. programs are similar to CSU's diverse student population with more than 20 percent Latino, more than 15 percent African American, approximately 7 percent are Asian Americans and about half are white. CSU has made every effort to keep the programs affordable for students, and although legislation allows fees to match those of the University of California programs, CSU fees are currently at a lower level. By way of comparison, CSU fees are $8,676 for the current academic year and $12,954 for the 12-month period of study, while UC fees are $15,363 for 12 months of Ed.D. study.

In addition, student persistence rates in the program are extremely high with 95 percent continuing their studies. The programs rely heavily on partnerships with local community colleges and P-12 schools, and most classes are held in the evening, weekends and in the summer to allow for full-time working professionals.

CSU Teacher Preparation Shows Sustained Improvements

Results of the CSU Systemwide Evaluation of Teacher Preparation show sustained, accelerating progress by CSU campuses in preparing K-12 teachers who are effective and successful in California schools. This new evidence of progress comes from a two-fold evaluation process: the professional judgments of experienced school leaders who supervise CSU’s first-year teachers and the CSU’s own Center for Teacher Quality (CTQ) which is also analyzing and summarizing evidence of K-12 students learning that results from CSU programs for new teachers. The Systemwide Evaluation has been supported by the Chancellor’s Office for nine years and is the longest-running initiative of its kind in the history of American teacher education.

For the first time this year, evaluation results indicate that many improvements in the outcomes of the CSU teacher preparation are systemwide, sustained and accelerating.

CSU campuses are committed to the goal of producing increased numbers of well-prepared new teachers who enable all students to ready themselves for college and careers. Recent Systemwide Evaluation results reflect this commitment in both elementary and secondary schools. Assessments by K-8 principals show sustained growth in CSU’s year-to-year production of new teachers who are well prepared to be effecting in reading-language arts instruction. CTQ is also analyzing the math learning scores of K-8 students taught by new CSU teachers which shows an increase throughout the duration of the evaluation process.

CSU Math and Science Teacher Initiative (MSTI) on its Way to Reaching Goals

The CSU’s Math and Science Teacher Initiative (MSTI) was created in 2004 as a response to California’s need for an estimated 33,000 new mathematics and science teachers over the next decade.

Due to a dearth of sufficiently qualified math and science teachers, large numbers of students in the state have been taught by out-of-field and underprepared teachers. California’s low-income and minority students have been those affected most with evidence that the state’s lowest performing and highest poverty secondary schools are three to four times as likely as other schools to have underprepared math and/or science teachers.

Since its inception, the program has increased the production of math and science teachers by 80 percent and has been nationally recognized for its success. All CSU campuses now have NSF Robert Noyce scholarship programs which provide up to $30,000 for candidates. Additionally six campuses have NSF Master’s Degree Fellowships, with the support of $50,000 provided as students earn a master’s degree and serve as beginning teachers.

CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed established a goal for the CSU to double its math and science teacher production to address this need. CSU implemented a multi-faceted strategy – the MSTI - to expand preparation of outstanding math and science teachers. This strategy includes:

  • Comprehensive recruitment
  • Innovative credential pathways
  • Financial support through scholarships and student loan cancellation
  • Alignment with community college pathways
  • Online preparation tools
  • Partnerships with federal laboratories in research opportunities for future science teachers
  • Identification and scaling up of effective approaches