UC Santa Barbara Gevirtz School alumna Erika Bland recently won an Impact Award from Menlo-Atherton High School, where she currently teaches Marine Biology and AVID. The award, which is presented by the PTA and other teachers, acknowledges teachers’ hard work and contributions to education.
Bland has been teaching at Menlo-Atherton for three years since graduating from UCSB. The Impact Award was presented to Bland for her commitment to creating a new Marine Biology course for high school students. Bland’s inspiration for the course curriculum drew on her experience as an undergrad at UCSB pursuing an Aquatic Biology degree.
Bland’s cites her mentors at UCSB, Sue Johnson and Peggy Lubchenco, for encouragement and assistance with innovating new ways to teach science in engaging ways. Bland still collaborates with her fellow Teacher Education Program (TEP) classmates, as well as teachers in the Knowles Science Teaching Fellowship community
The Teacher Education Program at UC Santa Barbara offers the Multiple- Subject, the Single-Subject, and the Education Specialist Moderate/Severe Teaching Credentials with a Master’s Degree in Education. These programs provide future teachers with a solid theoretical foundation integrated with extensive fieldwork that leads to both a California State Teaching Credential and a Master’s Degree in Education. The programs are run as a cohort, with the elementary and secondary cohorts no larger than 50 students each. This allows for the individualized attention necessary for high-level preparation of reflective, skilled practitioners who can meet the needs of a diversity of learners in California schools. The Teaching Credential Programs are full-time, post-graduate programs that begin in June and conclude the following June. Teacher candidates have the option to work on the Master’s Degree concurrent with credential coursework. 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.