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Math and Science Teacher Initiative

CSU San Marcos

CSU San Marcos has responded to the need for math and science teachers with several pro-active solutions. CSUSM has a subject matter waiver program for mathematics secondary credential candidates, which waives the CSET requirement and also provides financial aid for those obtaining initial or second credentials. New or renewed waiver programs are under development in Physics and Chemistry.  Supported by the National Science Foundation, CSUSM has a partnership with the Palomar Community College to increase the number of CSUSM STEM graduates through recruiting and retention activities coordinated across both institutions.

In addition to scholarship support, CSUSM’s MSTI project identifies promising undergraduate students in mathematics and science to serve as “Learning Assistants” (LAs). LAs serve as learning coaches in university math and science courses. This program provides LAs with teaching experience and improves the quality of undergraduate courses. LAs meet with the mathematics and science professors in whose courses they are assisting to plan interactive learning projects, which allow them to be part of the teaching process. LAs also attend a weekly seminar on pedagogy and learning conducted by School of Education mathematics and science educators. The LA project is aimed at recruiting undergraduates who may not otherwise be thinking about a teaching career.

There are several activities on campus closely aligned with the education and recruitment of STEM teachers, and especially closely connected with the MSTI LA Program, including our PhysTEC site, the Teacher Recruitment Project, College Assistance Migrant Program, and San Diego Math for America.

PhysTEC at CSUSM is a comprehensive physics teacher recruiting and preparation program that includes curricular/programmatic support, early teaching experiences, and induction/mentoring. CSUSM and Palomar students learn about physics teaching opportunities at recruiting events and from other students with the goal for undergraduates to view physics teaching as a well-known and well-regarded career option. Talented physics students will serve as LAs at CSUSM and Palomar, improving those courses while simultaneously exploring their own interests in teaching. A group of cooperating local high school physics teachers facilitate early teaching experiences for undergraduate students.

The Teacher Recruitment Project identifies prospective math and science teachers and offers scholarships to those planning to pursue a career as a teacher. In addition, the Summer Bridge Program invites students to take six units of prerequisites, have their fees paid, and receive a stipend of $500 if they are planning to teach middle or high school math.

College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP)is designed to support first year university students from migrant or seasonal farm worker families, to help them develop skills necessary to succeed in college. CSU San Marcos has the only CAMP in the nation administered through a College of Education, encouraging students to go into teaching.

CSU San Marcos is a university partner of the San Diego Math for America (MfA). This distinguished program provides $15,000 per year for 5 years to mathematically accomplished individuals who are new to teaching, to develop highly trained, exemplary math teachers dedicated to improving mathematics achievement in secondary schools throughout San Diego County.

CSU San Marcos MSTI