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Friday, January 18 , 2019, 12:12 am | Fair 51º


Students in San Marcos Teacher-Education Class Explore Local Colleges

San Marcos High School students enrolled in an Introduction to Education course enjoyed field trips to both Cal State Channel Islands and UCSB, learning more about education degrees and teaching certification programs. Days later, the class hosted 13 Westmont College education majors to hear about their teacher education offerings.

The San Marcos teacher-education class is offered by the Santa Barbara County Education Office’s Regional Occupational Program for Career Technical Education. Students gain hands-on experience in local classrooms from kindergarten through ninth grade, three times a week over a three-month period.

At Cal State Channel Islands, the newest college in the CSU system, the class encountered a beautiful campus and a dynamic School of Education offering many pathways to the teaching profession.

“I believe that going on a tour to Cal State Channel Islands was really good, to be able to see the difference between college and high school expectations,” senior Joseph Alvaro said.

A few days later, the Gevirtz School of Education at UCSB welcomed the San Marcos class, along with two other ROP/CTE Education classes from Orcutt Academy and Santa Ynez High School.

“I liked the experience at UCSB. I am thinking about going to UCSB after SBCC,” senior Nicole Renetzky said.

Dr. Tim Dewar opened the session by asking students to think about what education will look like in 2025. Then Dr. Tine Sloan followed this theme with an engaging question, “Why do I have to go to school when I can learn everything on Google?” Several other faculty members presented dynamic demonstrations.

Capping off the students’ college exploration, Westmont education professor Michelle Hughes visited the San Marcos education class with 13 of her students. Hearing the Westmont stories about college life, student teaching and job opportunities was an exciting experience for the San Marcos group.

Connecting with three local colleges was a great chance for these aspiring teachers to learn about their college options.

“California will soon be facing a teacher shortage,” noted Dr. Sloan, director of teacher education at UCSB. Nurturing these “teacher explorers” in their high school years can ensure we produce effective teachers in our own local community.

For more information on ROP/CTE in Santa Barbara County, including lists of classes offered in each school district, photos, videos and student testimonials, go to the SBCEO program’s website by clicking here.

— Kris Bergstrom is communications director for the Santa Barbara County Education Office.

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