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January 31, 2007
DH 07 JH17
Contact: Joanie Harmon-Whetmore
(310) 243-2740/2001

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 at WPHS.

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 minority students.

“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













Media Contact:

Joanie Harmon-Whetmore
(310) 243-2740


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Last updated January 31, 2007, 11:35 a.m.
by Joanie Harmon-Whetmore