Teacher Professional Development:  Continuing Commitment to Teacher Quality

Professional Development for the Early Assessment Program

The Early Assessment Program (EAP) is designed to give high school students and their families an early indication of readiness for college and career. The CSU offers, at no cost to the teachers, special preparation workshops on academic literacy and college-level mathematics.

Reading Institutes for Academic Preparation (RIAP)

Now in its seventh year of operation, RIAP is designed for high school teachers who may teach in any grade or subject area. Participating teachers engage in 80 hours of professional learning over the school year. Academic literacy, classroom instruction and assessment, standards-based planning, reading comprehension, vocabulary, academic language, and writing are all addressed. Teachers learn specifically about college and workplace expectations, and how to best prepare students to meet these levels of performance.

RIAP leadership represents a unique collaborative arrangement; university faculty work in partnership with experts from local school districts, county offices of education, and regional professional development centers to conduct the institutes. Currently there are 16 CSU campuses offering RIAP professional development for 500 teacher-participants statewide. Since the program's inception, over 3,000 educators have participated in RIAP. An external evaluation of the program's effectiveness shows that RIAP-trained teachers' students have made achievement gains that are two to three times greater than other similar students. Teachers commend RIAP for its excellent cross-curriculum reading information that can be "transferred directly into the classroom and works well with all levels of students." In fact, one teacher commented that RIAP "has transformed my teaching, showed me how to teach reading skills, and given me innumerable techniques and materials to work with...I have never been as focused and effective as I have been since RIAP..."

Expository Reading and Writing Course Workshops

The California State University and its P-12 partners have designed an innovative alternative to the traditional 12th grade English class. The Expository Reading and Writing Course (ERWC) is an approved college-preparatory English course designed to better prepare students for college-level reading and writing. Aligned with the California English- Language Arts Content Standards, the course emphasizes the in-depth study of expository, analytical, and argumentative reading and writing. Four-day workshops are offered to teachers through a collaborative arrangement with the Curriculum and Instruction Steering Committee (CISC) of the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA).

Since the first workshops were offered, over 3,000 teachers have participated in professional development for ERWC. External evaluations of the program reveal impressive findings in student achievement gains. In addition, the teachers observed that their students "are more engaged" and "enjoy that the readings and discussions are at the college level." One teacher remarked that ERWC "raises the academic expectations and demands a thousand fold!"

EAP Mathematics Workshops

High school mathematics teachers are also invited to attend workshops designed to help them analyze student performance on standardized tests and learn to better facilitate high school students' readiness for college-level mathematics. In 2008, the program is expanding the online component, creating additional flexibility in scheduling the face-to-face workshop sessions.

To date, over 1,200 California math teachers have attended these two-day workshops. Supported by the Boeing Foundation, workshops have been conducted by the Curriculum and Instruction Steering Committee (CISC) of the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA) in collaboration with the CSU. Each session is led by a team comprised of a mathematics professor, a mathematics education professor, and a high school mathematics teacher or specialist.

EAP Administrators Sessions and Resources

The CSU has developed a new guide, The Early Assessment Program Handbook for School Site Leaders, designed to assist administrators in planning for successful implementation of EAP at their sites. Professional development for these school and district leaders will be offered by the CSU, together with the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA), through various presentations at conferences and meetings held at county offices of education.