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About CalTeach

While each of the nine CalTeach programs reflects the distinct character and history of its campus, all programs are bound by eight essential components that represent best practices in recruiting future STEM teachers and in undergraduate teacher preparation.

Equity in STEM Teaching and Learning

In every aspect of the program, CalTeach emphasizes evidence-based STEM instructional practices designed to advance equity and learning for California’s K-12 students. CalTeach equips a diverse cohort of future teachers with skills  to meet the needs of California’s diverse 21st-century learners.

Recruiting and Advising

CalTeach offers courses, fieldwork, mentoring, internships, networking and research opportunities to engage undergraduate and community college STEM majors who are considering teaching careers. Whether Cal Teach participants enter UC as freshmen or by transfer from a community college, CalTeach campus resource centers can become hubs for them to engage in these activities, and can provide additional guidance and support for students from underrepresented backgrounds.

Coherent Curriculum

The CalTeach program imparts strong content knowledge as well as pragmatic skills to prospective K–12 teachers, including how to support high-need students, and students from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds.

Field Experiences and Mentor Teacher Support

K-12 mentor teachers and university instructors lead CalTeach students through courses and field experiences that enable them to progress from being observers to becoming active teaching participants. Their mentor teachers may receive a stipend or in-kind professional development in exchange for their time and expertise; the CalTeach students may receive financial support to offset the costs of becoming a STEM teacher.

STEM Community Partnerships

CalTeach sites partner with school districts, community colleges, and other institutions to advance shared goals for STEM teaching and learning. These partnerships address local needs for STEM teacher recruitment and preparation for high-need schools while providing general support for students and their communities.

Professional Growth Experiences

The CalTeach experience continues to resonate with students and mentor teachers long after a session ends. CalTeach graduates and mentor teachers may join professional networks to support ongoing professional development and are encouraged to participate in seminars, workshops, and lab and field research that will deepen their understanding of and commitment to STEM education and community programs that meet the needs of diverse learners. 

Ongoing Program Evaluation and Research

CalTeach educators and leaders routinely collect and analyze program data. The results are used to assess and improve the program’s effectiveness across UC campuses with regard to STEM teacher recruitment, preparation and retention and to disseminate the results in peer-reviewed publications.

Faculty Leadership, Collaboration and Research

Collaboration is a key aspect of the CalTeach model — collaboration across subject disciplines, workplace roles, UC campuses and other institutions. Faculty leaders and campus administrators emphasize cooperation in the development of STEM teacher education to support future teachers.