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Public Affairs

Shaping Teachers for California

February 17, 2011
By Stephanie Thara

The CSU has more than 2.6 million alumni and graduates more than 95,000 students into the state’s workforce each year. CSU alumni are leaders in the high-impact fields that drive California’s economy, including education, business, healthcare and entertainment, among others. More of California’s teachers come from the CSU than all other institutions in California combined. Some alumni who have touched the lives of others through teaching include:

  • Debbie StevensonDebbie Stephenson (1991, Teaching Credential, CSU San Marcos): As a sixth grade teacher for predominately Hispanic students, Stephenson created a rubric writing program to teach her students how to master all stages of the writing process. The Write Connection™, implemented by hundreds of schools throughout California and Texas, incorporates state standards and core curriculum skills and has been largely instrumental in increasing the Academic Performance Index scores in many of the elementary schools in Compton, Calif.
  • Kadhir RajagopalKadhir Rajagopal (2010, Doctor of Education, Sacramento State): Rajagopal teaches algebra at Sacramento’s Grant Union High School to students who are at extreme risk, such as those who are in foster homes or whose parents are incarcerated. Rajagopal was one of five teachers to be named a California Teacher of the Year for 2011 for his innovative educational model, which is based on relating complex concepts to topics at-risk students understand.
  • Albert CherngAlbert Cherng (2006, Teaching Credential, CSU Fullerton): In addition to teaching geometry at Whittier High School, Cherng volunteers his time to help others learn about the opportunities for teaching by serving on the Secondary Teacher Education Program Advisory Council. Furthermore, Cherng spent eight years teaching English to Chinese Americans on the weekends while still working full time.