By Stephanie Thompson
In 2016, UC San Diego Extension transitioned from its one-year clear credentialing program to offering a more robust two-year induction program for teachers seeking the California Clear Credential. The new program is affordable, contextual and flexible. UC San Diego Extension is working with a number of school district partners to customize the training for their needs.
Public school teachers in California are required to have a valid California Clear Credential, which authorizes them to provide classroom instruction. Credentials are offered on a preliminary basis and every new teacher must complete the requirements to clear a teaching credential within five years in order to remain a K-12 teacher within the California Public Education System. A university-based Induction program is one method for preliminary credential holders to clear their teaching credentials.
The transition to Induction follows in the wake of a state mandate through the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC). The new policy was created to bring different clear program options into better alignment with the California Standards for the Teaching Profession (CSTP), offering support for teachers that is contextually focused, highly individualized and mentor-driven.
UC San Diego Extension's Induction program is designed to provide a two-year, individualized, job-embedded system of mentoring, support and professional learning that begins in the teacher's first years of teaching. This program reflects standards adopted by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing for Single Subject, Multiple Subject, or Education Specialist Induction Programs.
Whether based in a school district or at a university, Induction can be a labor-, resource- and time-intensive process, requiring program sponsors to offer an experience for practitioners that encompasses enhancing pedagogical expertise as it is delivered in unique school community environments: cultivating sound habits of reflective practice that attend to local needs with fidelity.
“In creating its online induction program, we were mindful of the need for flexibility and affordability for candidates,” says Morgan Appel, director of the Department of Education and Behavioral Sciences (DEBS) at UC San Diego Extension. “We are focused on providing what is practical and affordable for teachers, maximizing their time and resources. We were also cognizant that many schools or districts would not be able to offer full induction programs, but had essential components in place. As such, DEBS remains committed to filling the gaps through partnership. Others required a partner that provides the entirety of induction, which we are happy to offer as well, at discounted rates.”
“DEBS works with prospective induction partners by creating a framework and delivery system around their needs,” Appel says. “Although we offer programming that attends to the standards established by the state, we do so in a way that is custom designed from the ground up and makes a long-term investment in school communities. This comes in the form of diverse delivery systems and highly context-bound relationships.”
For example, teachers in rural areas where it might be difficult to reach a university campus, or in large cities where programs may be highly impacted, can take the courses online while Extension works with them to gain instructional support onsite. “Our priority is to provide a useful experience to teachers in context,” says Appel. “We always start by observing and asking questions. This is not a fixed menu. We work to meet teachers’ individual needs while still attending to state standards.”
Appel says the shift from the old clear program to Induction has been remarkably smooth. “Our one-year program was already intense, rigorous and individualized, so the transition to the two-year Induction program has not been a great shock,” he says. “I do feel this is a very exciting time for us, and a new chapter in the way post-secondary institutions address the needs of teachers.”
Induction classes begin in Winter 2018. Registration is available online. If you have additional questions, please contact the department at firstname.lastname@example.org, (858) 534-9286