a TEP student with her class

Reasons to Apply

Top 10 Reasons to Choose UCSB's TEP:

Become a Teacher Leader who is Ready to Teach on Day One

We believe teachers are critical agents of educational innovation and change. We believe teachers must demonstrate agency, advocacy and instructional leadership to improve the educational experiences of underserved students. We prepare teacher candidates to become teacher leaders who are ready to serve the needs of students from the moment they enter their classrooms. Our graduates provide consistent feedback on how well-prepared they feel their first year of teaching. They see the difference between themselves and other first year teachers. They excel in their profession and build their careers through innovation in multiple educational arenas. Superintendents and principals seek our graduates because they know they will become leaders in their schools.

Focus on Student Learning to Create Educational Opportunities for All

Everything we do in this program rests on the belief that schools should be equitable and engaging places of learning for every child. In order to prepare teachers who can effectively disrupt persistent educational inequities, our candidates work in schools that serve English learners, students of color, students with disabilities, and students living in poverty. Our program is one of 29 top programs in the nation approved for recipients of the Woodrow Wilson-Rockefeller Brothers Fellowship for Aspiring Teachers of Color. Our program requires a full-year of coursework on the support of English Learners. Our program focuses on the very different needs of 21st century learners and how to engage students who have disengaged from school, whatever their background. This is the core of what we do.

Spend a Full Year Immersed in K-12 Schools

Backed by numerous research findings, our program is centered around a well supported, developmentally sequenced, year-long teaching experience. Further, because we only work with one cohort of students at a time, our faculty know each candidate well and can support each individual’s growth in teaching. UCSB and K-12 teachers work closely to integrate university learning with K-12 practice. This means that what candidates do in course work must be applicable to their classroom practice. For example, candidates may write a lesson plan for class, then teach it in their schools, then bring student work back to class to analyze learning, then plan next steps for instruction with cooperating teachers. Few programs offer such purposeful integration throughout a full year of teaching.

Teach in a Setting With a Richly Diverse K-12 Population Demanding 21st Century Opportunities

Santa Barbara is home to children and families with a wide array of linguistic, cultural, educational, and socio-economic backgrounds. Teacher candidates must reach learners of English, students with disabilities, students who have disengaged from schooling, and students who perform well. All require rich and tailored experiences for 21st century learning. What’s more, this is a small town with a big university. This means we do not compete with other programs to find the best placements for teacher candidates. Our school partners are just that—partners. We share a mission to work within a community of committed professionals—K-12 teachers, administrators, teacher educators, and teacher candidates—to create better educational opportunities for K-12 students.

Become a Graduate who is Sought After

Multiple districts in California and beyond contact the program to interview candidates. Our most recent accreditation review confirms what we experience: “In all cases, interviews with cooperating professionals and districts leaders confirmed the assessment data [provided in reports to the CTC]. Interviewees agreed that UCSB candidates are held in high regard throughout the region for their professionalism and reflective practice, as well as for their skills in collaboration. In addition, UCSB graduates were described as exceptionally well prepared to educate and support diverse learners, and able to draw knowledgeably on a wide range of effective strategies. Several employers stated during interviews that they seek out graduates of UCSB programs, who often become leaders in the field. In addition, a variety of stakeholders noted that UCSB candidates seek out opportunities to engage with families and communities. UCSB is to be commended for preparing educators who are so highly valued throughout the region.” Accreditation Report by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (October 2011).

Earn a Masters of Education (M.Ed.) Degree and Teaching Credential in one year

At UCSB, the M.Ed. in Teaching program is integrated with the credential work. The M.Ed. is not a sit-in-the-library-and-research process. It is an action-intensive process that prepares new teachers to analyze their practice, inquire into their students’ learning, and create life-long habits of mind to continually learn from their teaching. See the Masters of Education (M.Ed.) page to learn more.

Attend a Program Nationally Recognized for Excellence

UCSB’s program has been recognized in several arenas and been a part of multiple studies on teacher education. Two examples:

UCSB’s program was named as a model program for the state of California by the Governor’s State Educator Excellence Task Force. Findings in their report will guide the transformation of California’s educator preparation for some time to come. “A number of California’s traditional and alternative teacher education programs – ranging from Cal State campuses at Long Beach and Chico to internships in Elk Grove and New Haven to UC programs at Berkeley, Santa Barbara and UCLA to private colleges like Mills and Stanford – have been documented in national research as highly successful models for preparing teachers. These and other California programs have led the nation in developing strategies for preparing teachers for English learners, preparing teachers to succeed in urban schools, and creating clinical training in professional development schools that others have emulated.” Greatness by Design: Supporting Outstanding Teaching to Sustain the Golden State, Sept 2012, pg 10.

Another national, independent research project states: “In surveys and follow-up studies of graduates derived from the National Commission on Teaching's Exemplary Teacher Education Study, UCSB graduates rated their preparation as significantly superior to those of a national random sample of beginning teachers on 32 of 37 measures of teaching knowledge and skill items. The graduates scored comparably with those of a national sample of exemplary teacher education programs on 33 of 37 measures and ranked higher on measures evaluating their preparation to teach the concepts, knowledge, and skills of their disciplines in ways that enable students to learn, to use a variety of assessment techniques, to teach in ways that support new English language learners, and maintain an orderly, purposeful classroom environment. In-depth follow-up studies of graduates by researchers who observed them in the classroom reported that they perform at the top levels of performance measures of the California Standards for the Teaching Profession.” Linda Darling-Hammond, Educating Teachers for California's Future, in Teacher Education Quarterly, Winter 2001.

Attend a Top Ranked University

In its 2019 listing of the “Top 30 Public National Universities,” U.S. News & World Report has ranked UC Santa Barbara No. 5 and ranks it among the top 50 research institutions in the United States. UCSB is one of only 62 institutions elected to membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities. As a campus, UCSB has many renowned programs and a remarkable record of faculty receiving Nobel Prizes and other research awards. It is a dynamic, forward-thinking campus amongst the world's leading public research University of California system. 

Share our Values and Outcomes

These are values that guide the work of our program and the outcomes we strive for in all of our graduates. If you share these, we hope you join us. See the Graduate Outcomes and Values page to learn more.