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More CSU Graduates Answer the Call for Teaching and Meet Training Standards

(March 12, 2004) -- The California State University produced 11,500 teachers during 2001-02, the highest number in its history according to an annual survey scheduled for release next week at the CSU Board of Trustees meeting.

The overwhelming majority of those CSU graduates — 85 percent — met all training standards, earned state credentials, went on to teach in public schools, and earned high marks for subject knowledge from their principals. This level of productivity exceeded evaluations completed in each of the last two years.

No other university has ever reported producing as many well-prepared teachers, according to research conducted by the CSU’s Chancellor’s Office. And no other has ever had so many first-year graduates hired to teach in public K-12 schools so quickly. For three consecutive years, more than 95 percent of CSU graduates have worked as full-time teachers during the first year after graduation. In all published reports, a distant second is Appalachian State University, North Carolina, where 67 percent of graduates became teachers within one year.

“A CSU priority is to produce increasing numbers of effective teachers for the public schools of California,” said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed. “This is how the university creates opportunities for more youngsters to excel in their schools. A well prepared teacher is the most important factor in helping K-12 students achieve.”

More than 2,300 California school administrators participated in the study. Each one had assessed CSU teachers in their classrooms and had held one-on-one conferences with them about teaching practices.

“These school administrators assess our first-year graduates very thoroughly,” said CSU Executive Vice-Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer David S. Spence. “They hold us up to very exacting standards. Each year they report that our new teachers are even better prepared than the year before.”

The principals answered a series of questions about CSU preparation for instruction in elementary reading, mathematics, science, and history. In each area, principals reported the CSU graduates of 2001-02 to be the most effectively prepared since the annual study began with the evaluation of the 1999-2000 class.

“She has an excellent command of reading and mathematics,” said one elementary school administrator about a new CSU teacher, “and she understands our students as well as our veteran teachers do.”

The school leaders also answered specific questions about CSU preparation to teach members of ethnically diverse groups, English language learners, and students with special learning needs. They reported CSU to be increasingly effective in preparing new teachers to reach these youngsters and foster their learning.

A high school principal reported that “some of our kids struggled until this year, but the new teacher got them organized and did a great job in their English class.”

Other results of the study:

  • Eighty-four percent of CSU teachers in grades K-8 earned their principals’ highest marks in the teaching of reading and math.
  • Teachers in urban-metropolitan schools with low-income students were prepared to teach as effectively as their counterparts who taught in suburban and rural schools with higher-income pupils.
  • According to the teachers themselves the best prepared teachers started out as student teachers in CSU, while the least prepared were emergency teachers.

A similar study by the National Center for Education Statistics showed that first-year teachers throughout the country were less prepared than CSU graduates – as much as 17 percent less prepared in the case of high school teachers.

The evaluation was the third in a series of annual evaluations sponsored by the CSU Chancellor’s Office. The study’s margin of error is less than four percent.

“We commissioned this study to see how we stand in teacher preparation, and where we need to improve,” said Chancellor Reed. “Our effectiveness comes from our commitment to improve the public schools, our high standards, our excellent faculty, and our willingness to test ourselves to see how well we’re doing.”

A slide show presentation is available here.


The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, approximately 409,000 students and 44,000 faculty and staff. Every year, the system graduates about 77,000 students with baccalaureate degrees. The CSU is renowned for the quality of its teaching and for the job-ready graduates it produces. Its mission is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of the people of California. With its commitment to excellence, diversity and innovation, the CSU is the university system that is working for California. See

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Last Updated: March 12, 2004

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