October 1993 Feasibility Meeting Report
A Report of the Planning Meeting on October 25-26, 1993
Major issues considered:
Examination of existing programs
The recruits (potential teachers)
Availability of employment
I. Elements of existing programs for certification of military and defense-related civilian personnel as Science and Mathematics Teachers
A. Existing programs represented at the planning meeting
California State University, Dominguez Hills. This is a program designed specifically to prepare former aerospace industry scientists and engineers to become teachers. We heard from those that were involved in the mathematics certification program. The program is completed in a two semester sequence. Student teachers start with a one-week period of experience to investigate whether they want to continue in the program. The program includes specialized course work, especially in classroom management, and an internship with a master teacher. Much of the course work is concurrent with the internship teaching. Thus the student teachers enter the classroom with a minimum of formal training in teaching. The master teacher is paid to work after school and weekends with the student teacher. A cohort is developed that continues throughout the life of the program. The program is supported financially by Rockwell and other companies. Rockwell pays for the tuition and fees for the student teachers. The program is designed mainly for retiring personnel. The demanding physical requirements has exceeded the stamina for some of the student teachers. The program builds in time for students to prepare for the National Teachers Examination (NTE). [Now called the Praxis examination.]
California State University, San Jose and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). A program designed for LLNL career scientists/engineers/technicians, and more recently their spouses, who have at least a bachelors degree. In order to be admitted into the program officially the student teacher must pass the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) and the NTE. The program consists of four courses and classroom experience. In the first semester student teachers are required to spend one hour per day observing both high school and middle school classes. There are three semesters of student teaching. The sites are chosen by the student teacher, but approved by the program. Since the LLNL employees continue to work for LLNL, courses are conducted in the evening. However, the work schedule is made flexible to accommodate the student teaching component of the program. Tuition is paid by LLNL. The result is a single subject teaching credential for either mathematics or physical science.
California State University, Long Beach. The initial exploratory phase is important. The main participants are mid-career switchers or women returning to work. Evening sessions are held to accommodate participants who are still working.
Harvard Graduate School of Education. This is a mid-career program that consists of one year of full-time enrollment, plus a required 4-week course of study, workshops and observation during the summer preceding the fall term. The program leads to a Masters in Education degree or a certificate of Advanced Study. Financial aid is needs based in the form of grants and loans. About 80 percent of students receive aid. There is a special grant for minorities.
B. Information about other existing programs.
Marymount University, Virginia. A master’s degree program has been established for active duty personnel and their dependents, DOD civilians at the Naval Military Personnel Command and their dependents and retired military/DOD personnel. A BA/BS degree in a content area is required. The master’s degree program is a 39 credit NK-8 Master’s and Certification program or a 21 credit Secondary Certification Program with 15 additional credits for M.Ed. The program is held at the Navy Annex.
California State University, San Francisco. ENCORE/Military Mid-Career Teacher Training Program is partially funded by the DOEd. The program is 18 months in duration and carries a $2500 stipend. It includes a cohort support system and makes use of the California Mentor Teacher Program. Mentor teachers are compensated. The program includes student teaching and one year of full-time teaching in San Francisco Unified School District. New teachers are linked to the California New Teacher Project. A unique aspect of the program is its candidate resource team: a university teacher educator, an on-site mentor teacher, a program coordinator, content area specialists, a district credentialing counselor and an on-site school administrator. The team meets in a seminar format with the cohort. A preparation course for the NTE is provided.
Mills College and Lawrence Hall of Science (LHS). This is a mid-career switch program that emphasizes special topics having fundamental significance in the discipline, the integration of concepts within and across fields, and hands-on interactive teaching strategies. The goal is to prepare teachers to work in inner city classrooms. It is a cooperative effort among Education, Physical Science, Biology and Mathematics Departments of Mills College, LHS and Oakland Unified School District. It is supported by corporate donations. According to their brochure, 25 percent of their newly trained teachers are taking part in district leadership roles after the first year of teaching. The program is starting a Leadership Institute for Teaching Science (LITES).
Sacramento County Public School Consortium M.A.T.C.H. Program (Military Alternative Teacher Certification and Hiring). This is a district internship program which is comprised of a 30-month professional development teacher preparation plan. It includes a six-month intensive preservice course and practicum with a subsequent paid teaching assignment (internship) supported by mentor teachers (K-12). There are afternoon and evening classes: one class per week for two years. There are afternoon and evening class: one class per week for two years. At the completion of the program the candidates are eligible for a clear credential. The classes are
taught by resource teachers, administrators, and other curriculum experts from the participating districts and the Sacramento County Office of Education. The candidates must have passed CBEST and NTE. Tutoring is available for these tests, and a teaching assignment (internship) is guaranteed.
II. The recruits (potential teachers)
As noted in the above descriptions, most of the programs currently offered focus on preparing retiring S&E personnel to become mathematics and science teachers. Another group is military personnel in their mid to late 40s, who are retiring with pensions. Those two groups were considered to be a “special” group because of their relative financial security due to pensions or social security.
The group devoted some of its deliberations to the issue of S&E personnel who are not at retirement age, who are still young and do not have pensions to fall back on, and who must look for new careers due to downsizing. Some options for addressing those issues are found in the proposal.
III. Employment availability
In the California Assembly Bill #1161, introduced in March 1993, the state legislature found that California has a serious shortage of qualified teachers in the subjects of mathematics, science, and technology, teachers who work with limited-English-proficient pupils, and teachers of minority teachers.
According to the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) representatives at the meeting, there is a need for physical science and mathematics secondary teachers and for elementary teachers who are comfortable teaching science. Moreover, bi-lingual mathematics and science teachers are greatly needed. Life science teachers (who are not as likely to be recruited by this program) are not in short supply.
According to one LAUSD representative, LAUSD had a shortfall of about 600 teachers at the start of the 1993 school year. At least 50 or 60 of those were in the area of science.
The traditional credentialing process for teachers in California is one where the candidates are students in a fifth-year program and receive college credit for their supervised teaching as well as for coursework in the basic principles of education and methods courses. In order to obtain the Professional Clear Teaching Credential the following must be completed: one year of postgraduate study, a course on the U.S. Constitution; supervised teaching; and professional courses, including reading instruction, health education, special education and computer education. The credential lasts for five years, and is renewable.
With a University Internship Credential, the intern teachers provide instructional services while they complete required courses in educational principles and methods. During their preparation, intern teachers provide instructional services earlier than other credential candidates, and they do so without being directly supervised by a certified teacher. For this reason the state requires interns to fulfill higher standards of admission to preparation programs than other candidates. Intern credentials last for two years during which the candidate must complete professional courses, including reading, health education, special education and computer education. After completion of the courses, the candidate is eligible for a Professional Clear Teaching Credential.
The district intern certificate allows a school district to create a professional-development plan for its own student teachers, although districts are required to provide interns with the support of mentor teachers and the program must last a minimum of two years. Evaluation of student teachers ’ performances by the employing district is the primary standard for qualifying for Professional Clear Teaching Credentials. District interns are not required to meet the same statutory requirements (health education, special education, and computer education) as other applicants for Clear Teaching Credentials. Districts that choose to offer programs must file a statement of need and certify that they will supply the required training, support, and evaluation.
California laws originally authorized the State Board of Education to waive, at the request of a local school district, one or more state credentialing requirements that are administered by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Shortages of individuals with essential qualifications are the primary reasons for waivers of certification requirements. Each waiver is for a limited term. Recently the authority to waive the credentialing requirements has transferred to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. The Commission is committed to developing more teachers rather than granting waivers.