Why UC? Why Now?

Within California, only the University of California has the faculty, infrastructure, and public mandate to conduct the greatly needed research. UC faculty currently constitute 17% of the members of the American Education Research Association (AERA) Council and 20% of its Executive Board. UC has also invested in new teacher preparation pathways that are making a significant difference in the number of teachers prepared in two areas of chronic teacher shortage: mathematics and science.  This focus makes sense for two reasons – (1) the severity and persistence of the shortage of high quality teachers in these important fields and (2) the number and quality of UC STEM graduates that UC produces. UC produced nearly 50% of the total STEM degrees within California, far exceeding any other segment of higher education.

UC teacher preparation programs are recognized for quality. They also include four of the most widely recognized models (i.e. four-year undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, residency, and intern), making them well situated to investigate the impact that various forms of teacher preparation have on beginning teacher competency and retention in high-needs communities. The UC mission is to prepare high quality teachers who create equitable opportunities for students to engage in 21st century learning. Program faculty are committed to preparing teachers who care about, connect with, and empower all students with academic success, socio-emotional well-being, and the ability to think, problem solve, create, and communicate. Programs are designed to change teaching in ways that utilize the assets and meet the needs of California’s students who are linguistically, economically, academically, and racially diverse. Finally, the UC mission is to research the efficacy of their approaches in order to inform and change the field.