Center for Teaching and Learning

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CSUN Partners with San Fernando High School

September 16, 2019

Initiated in the 2017-2018 school year, CSUN has provided a wide variety of supportive programs and services to San Fernando High School (SFHS) based upon the school’s identified needs.  For example, CSUN undergraduate mentors have interacted with SFHS students in tutoring to promote academic preparation, as well as imparting information and guidance aligned with college readiness.   Additionally, CSUN has provided SFHS students with opportunities for university visitations of the campus facilities designed to deliver firsthand experiential learning and immerse SFHS students in a “college life” atmosphere.

San Fernando High School students and faculty outside the Michael D. Eisner College of Education building

Here, 125 AP Calculus scholars from SFHS came to CSUN for a day of tours, interaction with CSUN students, ate lunch at the campus food court and then adjourned to four classrooms to study for their upcoming calculus exam.

Collaborating with the Michael D. Eisner College of Education’s Center for Teaching and Learning, COE content experts have assisted SFHS classroom teachers by providing professional development on numerous school recognized necessities.  For example, Dr. Ivan Cheng partnered with SFHS teachers to reinforce best practices in math, Dr. Jenn Wolfe presented strategies for writing across the curriculum and promoting academic conversations, Dr. Wendy Murawski supplied differentiation approaches to their World Languages department, Dr. Tamarah Ashton conveyed Co-Teaching methods and Dr. Mark Stevens demonstrated Social Emotional Learning.  In a constructive effort to strengthen the bridge between what Stoddard (1993) terms “the theory-practice dichotomy” all of the professional development has been jointly planned with SFHS instructional leaders and delivered on the SFHS campus.

Dr. Jenn Wolfe seated in a classroom with 2 other teachers

Dr. Jenn Wolfe, Assistant Professor of Secondary Education and Co-Director of the CSUN Writing Project, works in collaboration with two members of the Social Studies department at SFHS to explore methods and strategies to facilitate a variety of approaches to using writing as a tool for thinking and learning.

In a concerted effort to enhance the pre-service teacher experience or as Goodlad (1984) refers to the concept of simultaneous educational renewal; SED statically placed two teacher candidates in English and one in Social Studies this past spring at SFHS. Teacher candidates spent many hours at SFHS connecting with faculty and staff while their respective university supervisors were available to collaborate with the mentor teachers enriching the overall school culture environment.

Finally, two COE faculty members have teamed up with SFHS through grants.  Dr. Sue Sears working with The Literate Adolescents Intervention Project (LAIP) aimed to improve the reading outcomes and academic success of SFHS students with disabilities.  Federally funded through the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), LAIP works to develop and implement intensive reading intervention and to provide professional development in evidence-based adolescent reading instruction.  Dr. Brian Foley has submitted an Education Innovation and Research (EIR) grant through the U.S. Department of Education to develop curriculum that uses coding (computer science) to assist SFHS students learn math and science concepts. 



Goodlad,J. (1984).  A place called school: Prospects for the future.  New York: McGraw-Hill.

Stoddard T. (1993).  The professional development school: Building bridges between cultures.   Educational Policy. 7, 5-23.