Teacher Professional Development:  Continuing Commitment to Teacher Quality

CSU Professional Development in Science

Each of the following programs provides sustained and high-quality professional development experiences for teachers in science. They include graduates of CSU and other credential programs, providing opportunities for continuous learning that enable them to become leaders within the teaching profession.

Science Teacher and Researcher (STAR)

As a part of the CSU's commitment to stronger teacher preparation in the critical areas of science and mathematics, CSU programs collaborate with the NASA Ames Research Center, and with the U.S. Department of Energy Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. Pre-service and practicing science teachers participate as members of paid scientific research teams during their summers. They may continue to participate over a five-year period as they begin teaching. Evidence indicates that participants in these programs are twice as likely to stay in classroom teaching as other teachers in California.

Collaborating with Other Science Institutions

With support from the Boeing Foundation, three CSU campuses-CSU Fullerton, CSU Long Beach, and San Diego State University-are aligning pre-service and professional development programs with science museums, zoos, aquariums, and other informal science centers. This work features the development of innovative standards-based instructional activities that pre-service and current K-12 teachers can use in their classrooms. Teachers can combine existing curriculum with engaging learning activities sponsored by informal science centers in their communities.

California Math and Science Partnerships (CaMSP)

CSU Chico, CSU Fullerton, and CSU Fresno are among the campuses that partner specifically with school districts with large numbers of low-income students for specific professional development offerings. In the California Math and Science Partnership, the focus is on increasing the academic science and mathematics achievement of students in third through eighth grade, by enhancing both the content knowledge and effective teaching skills of classroom teachers.

CSU-NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory Summer Professional Development Institutes

CSU Bakersfield, CSU Fresno, and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo have hosted inquiry-oriented one-week summer institutes. They have enabled science teachers and pre-service candidates to explore NASA Mission resources and to develop engaging instructional approaches that integrate frontiers of science and technology into the classroom. The institutes have served as professional learning communities, deepening teachers' understanding of science and preparing them to introduce the excitement of scientific inquiry into their schools and districts.