University's teacher education goes year-round in pilot project

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University's teacher education goes year-round in pilot project

As a first step toward year-round operation, California State University, Fresno will usher in a state-supported summer semester pilot project beginning May 24 for students taking teacher-credential courses. The first schedule of courses was released this week.

For the summer semester, students pay the university’s regular semester registration fee. The university will continue its other summer school courses offered through the Division of Extended Education and which are self-supporting from per unit fees that summer session students pay.

The pilot project in the School of Education and Human Development will help address the state’s teacher shortage problem and could possibly lead to three year degrees, said Dr. J. Michael Ortiz, provost and vice president for academic affairs.

He said the university is pressing hard to get the new plan rolling for the first courses in May. The summer semester 1999 Schedule of Courses was released March 15.

“It seems like it’s a very daunting challenge to get up and running by May, but we are committed to helping reduce the teacher shortage,” Ortiz said.

Fresno State becomes the fifth campus to employ the new year-round calendar that Chancellor Charles Reed has endorsed. CSU campuses that already operate year-round are Los Angeles, Pomona, San Luis Obispo, and Hayward. Other CSUs developing pilot summer programs include Bakersfield, Humboldt, and Sacramento.

The year-round trend has picked up steam recently with a report by the Legislative Analyst’s Office recommending the move at colleges and universities as a cost-cutting measure that could also offset the need for new construction.

Ortiz said the Fresno campus hosts many summer programs so facilities are already used year-round. However, the impetus for year-round operation at Fresno State, the only four-year public university in the central San Joaquin Valley serving more than 100 school districts, is geared toward addressing the state’s teacher shortage.

Dr. Robert Monke, associate dean of education, said about 50 class sections have been set up for the summer semester pending final enrollment, with a student recruitment campaign underway.

“We’ll be offering programs and courses leading to Multiple Subject, Single Subject, and Special Education teaching credentials,” Monke said.

Special evening programs are being offered for Multiple Subject credential enrollees in Fresno and Visalia. The summer semester offers evening and Saturday classes in Fresno and Visalia. Courses are offered in three-, six-, and twelve-week blocks.

“Opportunities will be available to complete courses required for internship programs, fifth year professional/clear credential, and student teaching,” said Monke.

The State University Fee will be the same as for fall and spring semesters. All students who wish to enroll in the summer semester must be admitted to the university. Enrollees must also be admitted to a basic teacher preparation program for enrollment in most courses listed. Prospective students may apply at the Teacher Preparation and Services Center, Ed Bldg., Rm. 100.

Monke said some education courses such as educational administration, counseling, and other graduate level courses are not offered as part of the summer semester. However, those courses are available during the summer through enrollment in Extended Education.

For more information, contact the school of education at (559) 278-0300 or 278-0227. In Visalia, contact the Fresno State/COS Center at 278-4621.