Secondary Education

Mathematics Teaching Credential

Math & Science Teacher Initiative


The CSUN Math & Science Teacher Initiative (MSTI) offers free CSE-prep workshops to prepare individuals to pass the Math-I,II, III, General Science-I, Physics-II, Chemistry-II, and Biology-II subtests, as well as internships, financial incentives and other recruitment resources.

CSUN offers the California Preliminary Single-Subject Mathematics Credential and the California Preliminary Single-Subject Foundational-Level Mathematics Credential. These authorize the teaching of the courses shown below. Please refer to the CTC website for details on the examination requirements for each of these credentials.

Free CSET Preparation Courses for Foundation Level Math - Earn $750 upon admission to the program and $500 upon first math credential following participation in CSET Preparation courses (while funding available).

Mathematics Credential

  • ALL middle school and high school mathematics courses

Foundational-Level Mathematics Credential

  • All middle school mathematics courses
  • General high school mathematics
  • All levels of high school algebra
  • High school geometry
  • Probability and statistics
  • Consumer mathematics

Program Pathways

Mathematics-Education Faculty

Ivan Cheng

Ivan Cheng

(818) 677-6791

Professor Ivan Cheng is an instructor for both credential and master's courses in math education. He has also taught at both the middle school and high school levels for over 23 years and was among the first secondary math teachers to be National Board certified in the region. There are three things he likes to do besides being with his family and teaching... Disneyland, wine, and ... well, maybe just two things (unless you count coffee ... but that's actually a daily necessity). Dr. Cheng is also a frequent speaker at conferences and is passionately involved in various professional development grant projects to empower teachers to help all their students succeed.

Julie Gainsburg

Julie Gainsburg

(818) 677-2580

Currently serving as Department Chair, Julie Gainsburg has taught department courses in the mathematics-credential program and the MA program in mathematics education. She taught high-school mathematics for ten years, then served on the design team for the first Big Picture Learning school, in Providence, RI. Her research has focused on the mathematical problem solving of engineers, teaching math through and for real-world applications, and mathematics-teacher development. When not at work, she can usually be found on her road bike, climbing out of the San Fernando Valley.

Cathy Gaspard

Cathy GaspardAssistant Professor
(818) 677-5261

Cathy Gaspard’s responsibilities include teaching graduate level courses, supervising student teachers in the field, and acting as Liaison for Northridge Academy High School. She also participates on the Curriculum Assessment Committee for the College of Education and the Credential Curriculum Committee for Secondary Education Department. Previously, she was part of education department with the Bard College Masters of Arts in Teaching Program, specializing in mathematics teaching and learning, where she was responsible for instructing secondary-level student teachers methods of teaching and learning mathematics along with curriculum courses across disciplines. Outside of teaching pre-service teachers, she also develops and instructs graduate courses for in-service teachers. Prior to joining Bard, she taught and supervised student teachers from a variety of disciplines in the Teacher Education Program at University of California Santa Barbara. In addition, , she participated in an international research project, through the University of Oslo, studying teacher education programs in Norway, Finland, Chile, Cuba, and the United States. Her research interests include discourse in secondary mathematics student teachers’ classrooms during whole-class discussions, influences on instructional decisions during student teachers’ field placements, and the effects of student teachers’ self-evaluation, particularly through the use of video reflection.

Marian Pasternack

Marian Pasternack’s responsibilities include finding school placements for mathematics student teachers and leading the mathematics student-teaching seminars. Marian started her teaching career in the Los Angeles Unified School District, where she taught for 37 years. During that time she was active in mathematics, serving as Secretary and President of the Los Angeles City Teachers of Mathematics and Vice President of the California Mathematics Council. She also led many in-service and college classes and served on the development committee for the 1987 Mathematics – Model Curriculum Guide for the State of California. Marian is also co-author of several books that help Grades K – 10 teachers use pattern blocks and tangram blocks in the classroom. During the “reform movement” of the 90’s she was trained in the use of the Connected Mathematics Program and helped others implement that program, working in most states in the western US. For her graduate work at CSUN, her research examined how gifted students develop leadership, and at UCLA her graduate research focused on the impact of integration on students in one of the integration triads in Los Angeles. She has worked at CSUN since 2001, as a University Supervisor, a research assistant, and leader of seminars for student teachers.

For more information about CSUN’s mathematics-credential programs, contact Ivan Chen at