November 19, 2001 Vol. VI, No. 7

Northridge Makes a Major Impact in Education

University Leads State in Teacher Preparation

Cal State Northridge, through its College of Education, once again is California's leading public university in preparing future elementary and high school teachers, according to the latest statistics from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

Students from Northridge's College of Education were awarded 795 teaching credentials during 1999-2000, more than any other public university in California. That total included 602 multiple subject credentials for elementary school teachers and 193 single subject credentials for high school teachers.

"You don't become the leader and stay the leader without good reasons," said Philip Rusche, dean of Northridge's College of Education (right)."Our good reasons are strong faculty, quality programs and committed students. We're big because of the quality of what we do."

According to the CTC data, Northridge was followed by Cal State San Bernardino with 783 single and multiple subject credential recipients and Cal State Dominguez Hills with 749 recipients during 1999-2000. In total, the entire CSU system was responsible for 10,359 teacher credential awards during that year.

Northridge's College of Education is continuing to respond, with the rest of the Cal State system, to the state's dire need for well-qualified teachers. According to the most recent state report, 18 percent of the certificated public schools staff in Los Angeles County (16,120 educators) worked on emergency permits during 1999-2000.

The high share of Los Angeles County public school educators working without being fully credentialed compared with five percent of public school educators in San Diego County and eight percent in Orange County. Emergency permits allow teachers to work in public schools before they have earned their teaching credentials.

Northridge's education college is facing the challenge of having a very high share of part-time credential candidate students, by some estimates up to 90 percent, because its students typically are hired by school districts under emergency permit status almost before they have even begun their credential programs.

Although the state and the CSU system are facing budget reductions in the coming year, Rusche said Northridge's teacher preparation programs likely will continue to grow. "We're committed to continuing to address the education workforce needs of the greater San Fernando Valley," he said.

Education Professor Wins Fulbright Award

Doris Jones-Nicol, (right)an associate professor in the Educational Psychology and Counseling Department, has been awarded a prestigious Fulbright scholar grant to spend this year in South Africa lecturing and conducting research that includes looking at the country's devastating AIDS epidemic.

Jones-Nicol is the sole Cal State Northridge professor selected this year to participate in the U.S. government's flagship international exchange program, joining some 800 U.S. faculty and professionals who are traveling abroad. The university now has had about two dozen Fulbright scholars awarded in the past 20 years.

"I was very excited to hear that I had been selected as a Fulbright scholar. It has been a goal of mine for many years," said Jones-Nicol, who left for South Africa in August. "The Fulbright is not only a prestigious and significant award, but it also enables one to make a humanitarian contribution to another culture. It is the experience of a lifetime."

The Fulbright Scholar Program is sponsored by the U.S. State Department. The program, reaching into more than 125 countries, aims to "increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries." Recipients are selected on their qualifications, potential and willingness to share ideas.

Jones-Nicol is spending the school year at the University of Zululand in South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal Province along the country's eastern coast, helping that university develop a new doctoral program in community psychology. The university is a historically black institution with about 7,000 students.

In her research activities, Jones-Nicol said she will be looking at indigenous healing practices in the country, particularly relating to the AIDS epidemic, and coordinating a conference on that topic next year. She also will be exploring the resilience of adolescents who have faced catastrophic losses from AIDS.

"It's always a privilege and an honor to have your faculty recognized in this way," said Philip Rusche, dean of Northridge's College of Education. Rusche said awards such as the Fulbright highlight the high-caliber of faculty in the college and enhance the educational opportunities for students there.

Jones-Nicol, who came to Northridge in 1987, oversees the department's program in school psychology, a three-year master's program that trains much-needed school psychologists. By profession, Jones-Nicol is a licensed psychologist and a nationally certified school psychologist who has a specialty in play therapy.

Northridge Alumnus is State Teacher of the Year

Cal State Northridge alumnus Scott Charles Malloy (right)began his teaching career long before coming to the university. But it is the special training that Malloy received here that he credits with reinvigorating his teaching and ultimately aiding his selection as California's 2001 Teacher of the Year.

Malloy earned his master's degree in mathematics from Northridge earlier this year after seven years of study while working as a public high school teacher in Orange County. Just as he was nearing completion, Malloy was chosen as California's Teacher of the Year in October 2000 and represented the state in the national competition.

"I'm happy if I can do my part to make CSUN shine, because I had excellent experiences there," said Malloy, who teaches advanced mathematics such as calculus and trigonometry at Brea Olinda High School in Brea. While there, he's managed to accomplish the near impossible-having students clamoring to get into his classes.

Malloy said part of his inspiration grew from participating since 1994 in a special Northridge program for secondary math teachers run by Linda Huetinck, a professor in the College of Education's Secondary Education Department. The program blended education and math classes for teachers with an emphasis on educational technology.

Funded by a special five-year grant from the National Science Foundation, the so-called Viz-Math program, now completed, encouraged the use of visuals in math instruction. "It really reinvigorated my teaching, and led me to later introduce both Advanced Placement Statistics and Computer Science at my school," Malloy said.

"That program was fantastic," he added. "Many of my classmates in that program have gone on to become leaders in math education, presenting at virtually any conference or workshop I attend. My interest in math really came alive in Viz-Math," said Malloy, who reached another milestone when he was married in April.

As California Teacher of the Year, Malloy said he has delivered a speech to 5,000 PTA members at their state convention, participated in the first annual state teachers forum in Sacramento this past summer and appeared on television.

Malloy's philosophy of teaching is "a great teacher should be a great learner." On the side, he teaches chess to elementary students in his district's after school program.

@csun | November 19, 2001 issue
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