Posted: March 4, 1999
California State University, Sacramento will begin offering future teachers the chance to complete a liberal studies degree at night and on weekends this fall.
The new program will consist of six- and eight-week courses taken one at a time during the regular school year and summers. It will allow students to complete upper division requirements for the liberal studies degree in two-and-a-half years.
The program was created especially for those working full-time who want to teach in elementary schools. Students typically earn a liberal studies degree before beginning a one- to two-year teaching credential program.
"We're trying to offer more programs for working adults who need a more predictable schedule," said Cecilia Gray, associate vice president for undergraduate programs. "We believe there is a demand, because the private colleges and community colleges in this area have done well with evening and weekend programs."
Nearly 150 people have attended the program's five introductory meetings held since December. Upcoming meetings will be March 17 and 18, May 4 and 5, and June 16 and 17.
CSUS has been committed to teacher education since its founding, and is typically one of the state's largest credential-granting institutions.
Now, due to class-size reduction and a growing elementary school student population, as many as 300,000 new teachers will be needed in California by 2005.
The new liberal studies evening and weekend program is part of the CSUS effort to meet that challenge. In addition, the University has begun offering teaching credential students year-round classes and has increased enrollment in programs that allow students to earn credentials at off-campus sites or while they work as interns in schools. These efforts have made the College of Education the fastest growing of the University's seven Colleges.
The 22-campus CSU system, which as a whole educates 60 percent of California's teachers, has committed to increasing the number of credentials it issues each year from 12,000 to 15,000.
The liberal studies program will be the third to offer an evening and weekend program at CSUS, in which students take one 8-week class at a time rather than groups of 16-week courses. Such programs are already in place in psychology and humanities. Students who enroll have priority for the special session courses, but if the courses do not fill then regularly-enrolled students may sign up as well.
The University also has a number of programs which students may complete in traditional 16-week courses offered in the evening.
More information is available by contacting Susan McGowan, associate dean of the College of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies, at 278-6504, or the public affairs office at 278-6156.
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