College showcases teacher pathways at Day at the Beach

Published April 15, 2024

Marissa Moreno, a student at Moorpark Community College, is trying to decide which teacher preparation program is right for her.

The aspiring elementary school teacher from Simi Valley is looking at Cal State Long Beach, Northridge and Channel Islands. Considerations include their credential program offerings, the cost of housing and the student supports available.

Marissa Moreno poses in front of a balloon arch.
Marissa Moreno is considering attending teacher preparation programs at Cal States Long Beach, Northridge and Channel Islands, as well as University of California schools.

That’s why she came to the CSULB College of Education Showcase at Day at The Beach, a university-wide open house held Saturday for prospective first-year or transfer students who’ve been accepted to the campus.

“I’m interested in what each of the credential programs has to offer,” Moreno said, naming some of CSULB’s teacher pathways. “And the resources and types of support that the school has for students because I know it’s a very rigorous and challenging field.”

The College of Education’s showcase of its Liberal Studies undergraduate program featured panel discussions with students and alumni, a resource fair and Q and A session for parents.

Attendees learned about the college’s many pathways into the teaching profession, supportive services for students, and other unique offerings. They also heard what it’s like to be a college student at The Beach and what the job market looks like for new teachers in California.

Anna Ortiz speaks at Day at The Beach.
College of Education Dean Anna Ortiz welcomes prospective students and their families to the college showcase at Day at The Beach.

Dean Anna Ortiz highlighted the college’s flexible teaching programs, faculty and advisor commitment to students, and sense of community.

“If I were a parent and I was thinking about where I wanted my child to go to school, I would really want them to be here in the College of Education,” Ortiz told the audience. …“What we do in the college is just really unmatched.”

PHOTO GALLERY: Check out more images from Day at The Beach 2024.

Liberal Studies Lead Academic Advisor Nancy de Haro emphasized that while the college has one undergraduate teacher prep program, its students have a wide range of options for the type of career they want to pursue and how quickly they want to pursue it. And they don’t have to decide right away, she said.

“Whether you want to do elementary or special education, or maybe you’re still trying to figure that out, we are the place for you,” de Haro said.

Nancy de Haro speaks to prospective students.
Liberal Studies Lead Academic Advisor Nancy de Haro speaks to prospective transfer students at Day at The Beach.

During an alumni panel, speakers discussed the challenges of first-year teaching, how enrollment declines are affecting the job market and how well-prepared they felt after graduation.

Alumna Sara Martinez Barajas highlighted the demand — and therefore many job opportunities — for special education teachers, the fact she completed her education while also raising three children, and the good pay for teachers in California. New teachers can earn upwards of $70,000, she said.

“Being underpaid is not a California problem, per se,” she said.

Prospective students gather outside the College of Education building.
Prospective students gather outside the College of Education building at Day at The Beach.

Current student Tatum White, a Sacramento native, described how nervous she was when she first came to Cal State Long Beach and how getting involved in student life helped her overcome that and otherwise enrich her campus experience.

White is a peer mentor, student ambassador and president of the Liberal Studies Student Association.

What I love about Liberal Studies at Cal State Long Beach is the resources I have here and being part of a community,” she said. “I feel so welcomed every time I walk into the College of Education.”