Dean's Welcome

Since 1964, Sonoma State University has excelled in preparing effective teachers, administrators and other school professionals. Here on our website, you will find a variety of programs including Teacher Credential programs in Multiple and Single Subjects, an Early Childhood Studies major, Special Education, Educational Leadership and highly valued advanced credentials and master's programs (Reading and Language, Curriculum, Teaching and Learning (CTL), Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), Early Childhood Education, Special Education and Educational Leadership).

We pride ourselves in advising, teaching, and scholarly research that emphasizes individualized and small group experiences for our teacher candidates and degree program students. I encourage you to visit us—to meet our students and faculty. You will find that our programs are rigorous, focused, personalized, and highly regarded by both students and the community. In addition, you will find that our field placements are carefully chosen to be in some of the best places to learn about teaching and learning. While we are accredited both through our National Council for Accreditation for Teacher Education (NCATE) and the State of California Commission Teacher Credentialing (CTC), we remain financially viable option when compared to other universities.

This is a critical time to engage in the field of education in California. It is clear that, if we are to narrow the achievement gaps among socioeconomic groups, we need to help all students develop the skills they need to support themselves and be active participants in the future. To do so, we need to develop educational practices that are consistently engaging and preparing students to enter a world filled with technology and social change. Review our conceptual framework as it represents what we believe about education, teaching and learning.

Yes, we have experienced some difficult times recently in the public sector with limited budgets and layoffs. But now we are entering a time of change, where many teachers are retiring and thousands of new positions in education are opening up in California. We in the School of Education are ready to help meet the employment needs of our local public schools by preparing new teachers and school leaders. We have organized our large regional Educator Job Fair, held on campus annually in the Spring, to connect local school and districts with strong job candidates. We will seek to raise the diversity of the teacher workforce in California with collaborative initiatives like our La Promesa/The Promise program, and we will continue to help educators in their own growth and learning with special projects like the Accelerating Academic Achievement for English Learners (AAAEL), Nexus Interdisciplinary Program for Elementary Teachers and the Startup Classroom's Maker Educator Certificate Program. We know that the best teachers are active learners themselves, and continue to grow side-by-side with their students.

Children begin school each fall looking for the gentle, caring and skilled guidance of the best teachers we can provide.  Be one of these teachers. I hope that you as a prospective student come join us in your pursuit of the fulfilling life of helping students learn and grow.

Carlos Cuauhtémoc Ayala
Dean and Professor