Survey of California’s principals highly rates UC-prepared teachers

Tuesday, March 25, 2014
a Teacher Education Program student leads a class

A Teacher Education Program student leads a class

A recent survey conducted by Education Partnerships at the UC Office of the President determined that California public school principals highly value UC-prepared teachers. More than 70% of the principals rated their UC-prepared beginning teachers in the top 25%, compared to non-UC-prepared beginning teachers. Furthermore, 86.8% of principals thought that “the overall readiness to teach” of UC-prepared beginning teachers was “good or excellent.”

“My primary experience with UC-prepared teachers is primarily with those who studied at the Gevirtz School of Education at UC Santa Barbara,” wrote one principal. “The Gevirtz Teacher Education Program is one of the finest in the country. All over Santa Barbara, Gevirtz graduates are having a tremendous positive impact on schools.” In a similar vein, another principal claimed, “I have had the opportunity to work with UC prepared new teachers not only at my site but as a BTSA [Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment] mentor for six years. Teachers coming from UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara, and UCLA were the strongest teachers I had worked with.”

The principals rated UC-prepared beginning teachers very highly (a good or excellent rating) in areas such as knowledge of content; capacity to collaborate with colleagues; use of a variety of instructional strategies; capacity to reflect on student learning to inform instruction; and ability to apply relevant research to practice.

Overall the principal comments gave evidence to the wide-ranging skills of UC-prepared teachers. While one wrote, “Our UC-prepared teachers are eager to serve in socioeconomically disadvantaged schools. They take pride in working with students in the community who need additional support. They have a strong curriculum foundation and strong class management,” another had to say, “The UC-prepared beginning teachers at my site have been outstanding. We are a high performing school and school district so it is imperative that we continue to foster excellence. These teachers have continually shown excellence and a willingness to learn. Our parents and community hold very high expectations and our teachers continually rise to meet those expectations. The UC system has truly remained in sync with current trends, instructional strategies, and academic standards to ensure that the teachers exiting the program are well prepared.”

Both UCSB’s Teacher Education Program and its School Psychology program received full re-accreditation with notable accolades included in the official report after their 2011 California Commission on Teacher Credentialing review. TEP offers a rigorous, 13-month, post-graduate M.Ed.+Credential program (an academic year with 2 summers). It is one of the highest quality programs in the nation, with state-of-the art practice grounded in partner schools, a focus on teaching to reach ALL learners, and teacher educators with established records of success. TEP works with one cohort of teacher candidates per year and keeps the program small to ensure individualized attention for each teacher candidate (approximately 100 candidates). Course- and field-work is concurrent, which means candidates spend the entire academic year in schools, developing their practice with daily guidance, then extending their learning in afternoon/evening courses. This allows for a more streamlined, purposeful integration of university and fieldwork, which drives our faculty to collaborate across all aspects of teacher preparation. TEP strives for a community of learners where everyone – teacher candidates, teacher educators, and K-12 teachers – are working together to meet the needs of our new, our diverse, and our very different generation of learners.

TEP offers a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential for elementary school teachers; a Single Subject Teaching Credential for junior high or high school teachers in: English, Math, Social Science, World Language (French, German, Latin, and Spanish), and Science (Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, and Physics); and, an Education Specialist Moderate/Severe Teaching Credential for special education teachers.