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January 31, 2007
DH 07 JH17
Contact: Joanie Harmon-Whetmore
CSU Dominguez Hills Recognized as National Model for Training Science and Math Teachers
Carson, CA -
A group of visitors in a conference room at Washington Preparatory High School (WPHS) could
hear the sound of bells ringing, followed by the thundering footsteps of the school’s young
students moving along to their next class. The educators, representatives of local and
national institutions, were gathered to discuss measures that would keep those footsteps
from faltering, by providing a steady stream of teacher interns, courtesy of California State
University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH), the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), and the National
Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC).
The CSUDH College of Education (COE) Science and Mathematics teacher preparation program was
identified as a promising national model by the NASULGC. Within the program, CSUDH faculty teach
courses on-site and teacher interns from throughout the local districts attend CSUDH classes
Kamal Hamdan, director, Transition to Teaching Program, and a former WPHS mathematics teacher,
describes the partnership as one that benefits the University as well as the many middle and high
school students in LAUSD’s local area 6,7, and 8 schools.
“This is a genuine professional development school where the University faculty collaborate with
the K-12 teachers and jointly provide high quality instruction, support and coaching,” he says.
Howard Gobstein, vice president of Research and Science Policy, NASULGC was welcomed by WPHS
Gail Greer and CSUDH representatives Hamdan and Lynne Cook, dean, COE, to the WPHS training site on
January 10. Also present were Joan Bissell, associate director, Teacher Education & Public School
Programs, CSU Office of the Chancellor; Vivian Ekchian, deputy director of human resources, LAUSD;
and Don Hafeman, assistant director, Certificated Recruitment and Selection, LAUSD.
The group observed science and math classes, and discussed the goal and opportunities of the CSUDH/LAUSD
partnership at WPHS, which is the training ground for teacher interns who are participants in CSUDH’s
Transition to Teaching and Mathematics/Science Teaching Initiative (MSTI) programs in math and science
teacher recruitment, preparation, and professional development. All of the CSU campuses have received
funding for the Math and Science Teacher Initiative and related Teacher Recruitment Projects, aimed at
doubling campus preparation of teachers in these fields. CSUDH received one of the largest awards due to
the high quality of its program.
“NASULGC seeks to work with 215 member universities to significantly increase the number of high
quality science and mathematics teachers,” says Cook. “It’s a genuine honor that they have chosen
Dominguez Hills as one of the promising models to study in order to promote broader adoption of its
successful practices in other universities.”
Greer, who took the helm at WPHS after nine years at a USC magnet school, underscores the program’s
value in retaining teachers at a challenging urban campus, in a school district made up of 80 percent
“Burnout is a big problem here,” she says. “That’s why I love new teachers. They bring in open minds
with their recent training. The media would have you think these children are terrible students, but
they are hungry for excellence and worthy of excellent teachers. We need to hold these students to high
expectations, believe they can learn, and that they can find a way out (of poverty).”
The teacher intern program also provides a way for teachers who were raised in the area, to help
improve conditions in their old neighborhoods through education.
“This program is successful because Kamal recruits teachers from the community,” says Hafeman. “Sometimes
new teachers are lost in a few days because of culture shock. These teachers don’t experience that, because
they grew up here.”
For more information on the Transition to Teaching program, go to www.csudh.edu/coe/ttt2/.
Dominguez Hills - University Communications & Public Affairs
1000 E. Victoria Street
Carson, CA 90747