The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Integrated teaching program links new teachers with local students

The Integrated Teacher Education Program-Freshman Option is a teacher preparation program designed for entering freshmen who plan to earn a B.A. and a Preliminary Multiple Subjects Credential.

All coursework is aligned with the California State Academic Content Standards and State Curriculum Frameworks for grades K-8. Students will be able to teach this content in elementary and special education classrooms.

Requirements for a preliminary teaching credential are built into the ITEP-Freshman Option program, including two student teaching experiences.

To enter the program, students should be ready to take college-level English and math. Students may demonstrate eligibility by either passing or earning an exemption from the Entry Level Math exam and the English Placement test. Students who do not pass both exams but need one developmental math or English course may also be considered for admission to the program.

Students begin this program in the fall semester of their freshman year. A CSUN application must be submitted to the Admissions ‘ Records office in November for the following fall. Once the student is admitted to CSUN, the liberal studies department will invite the student to join the program.

ITEP is an eight-week course that has students teach activities to 7th graders.

“One of my goals is for these students to appreciate teaching science,” Vandergon said. “(The program helps to) increase their confidence in teaching.”

The program also encourages an interest in science for the 7th graders who come to CSUN twice a week from Patrick Henry Middle School. According to Vandergon, students lose interest in middle school. Vandergon was a high school teacher before coming to CSUN.

“We want to make an effort to present other options in biology,” Vandergon said. “There are all these other things to do with a science degree.”

The 7th graders are excited to come to college and learn. The student teachers are mentors to the middle school students. The classes are split in two, with two CSUN liberal arts majors teaching one class right across from each other.

Sophomore Leslie Ganeros said, “I was really hesitant at first to teach students. I like the response I get from the younger students,” Ganeros is interested in teaching math at elementary schools and eventually she would like to work up to the high school level.

Each 7th grader wears a nametag, as do their student teachers. Both groups of students are taught the same thing and have a similar activity. The student teachers prepare their lesson plans for the day based on the California standards. Each week there is a different topic.

“Students are excited to come every week and make things,” said sophomore Hana Hong. “This program is good (for the middle school students) because they interact with college students. (Coming to college for the program) makes the idea of college more tangible.”

Vandergon watches the students and evaluates them to determine their grade. At the end of the program each student has to write about what they learned and what they gained.

“Over time with Dr. Vandergon, we could see change,” said Dr. Michael Franklin, biology professor. “She has a great deal of support in the department for what she’s doing, and I help any way I can.”

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