A new initiative designed to increase the number of students who
receive their credentials to teach secondary math and science was
announced May 31 by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. ‘
‘?California Teach,’ a program developed for the University of
California, is aimed at quadrupling the number of math and science
teachers produced in the system within five years.
The California State University already has programs in place at
some of its universities that help students work toward their
bachelor’s degrees as well as their teaching credentials. ‘
‘?(We’re) creating a better pathway for students,’ said Colleen
Bentley-Adler, CSU director of public affairs. ‘?If students are going
to major in (math and science), we want them to think about becoming a
In addition to the existing programs, the CSU may offer fellowships
and pardon student loan debts to encourage math and sciences majors to
The program coincides with the governor’s plan to expand
California’s loan forgiveness plan, which will authorize 350 new
financial aid awards for the 2005-06 academic year.
‘?We have an intense need in the L.A. basin area to get on top of the
math and science problem,’ said CSUN Provost Harold Hellenbrand.
CSUN, one of the CSU campuses with a program already in place,
offers students the chance to obtain their bachelor’s degrees in
mathematics, along with their teaching credentials, within four years.
‘?Now that these pieces are in place, we will begin to develop a
two-year program,’ said Bonnie Ericson, chair for the Department of
Secondary Education at CSUN. ‘
According to Ericson, the current program is limited to only those
incoming freshmen that have already met CSUN’s math and English
requirements. A two-year program will open up more opportunities to
students, she said.
‘?I think there’s a relatively limited interest,’ Ericson said. ‘
The current program, which is in its fourth year, only has a few
students involved, Ericson said.
The CSU produces about 60 percent of California’s primary and
secondary educators, according to the CSU. Twenty-two out of the 23
campuses offer credential programs in math, and 17 offer programs in
The CSU has also partnered with Boeing to create a professional
development program for current high school math teachers to ensure
they have the necessary skills to prepare their students for
college-level courses. The program is in its second year.
Eighteen companies, including Boeing, Adobe systems and Apple, have
already committed $4 million in addition to the $1 million promised by
the governor to stimulate California higher education’s role in high
school math and science education.
The initiative comes a year after Schwarzenegger’s request that the
two systems create programs to improve education and increase the
number of California’s math and science teachers. ‘
According to CSU’#8200;officials, less than 7 percent of all teaching
credentials issued in 2002-03 were in math and science.