Alumni Spotlight

Alumni Testimonials

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Photo of Dennis

7th Grade English Teacher for Huntington Beach City School District

1. How has obtaining this degree and/or credential positively affected your employment experiences and life overall?

Completing my Master's in Educational Leadership and acquiring the Administrative Service Credential has broadened my perspective of the educational realm, a perspective that proves indispensable in my current teaching position. This comprehensive academic pursuit has bolstered my foundational expertise, gifting me with essential leadership tools and a nuanced understanding of administrative dynamics. These enriched capabilities have reshaped my classroom approach, enhancing curriculum delivery, deepening collaboration with peers, and providing clarity on the overarching educational framework. Armed with this knowledge, I'm well-equipped to navigate classroom challenges, actively connect with students, and bridge the gap between pedagogical strategies and administrative goals in our dynamic educational setting.

2. Where are you currently working and what is your title/position? Please also let us know if you have earned, or are in the process of earning, an additional degree or credential since you finished this program.

I am currently working as a 7th grade English teacher at Isaac L. Sowers Middle School within the Huntington Beach City School District. In this role, I am responsible for designing and implementing an English curriculum that caters to the diverse learning needs of my students. This includes creating lesson plans, assessing student performance, providing individualized support, and collaborating with fellow educators and parents to ensure the holistic development of each student. At this time, I am considering the next best steps for my professional career in education.

3. What advice do you have for a prospective student to your program?

For those considering entering this program, here are some thoughts drawn from my personal experience: 1. Juggling Priorities: Managing a Master's course alongside life's commitments and a full-time job might seem daunting, but it's achievable. It's crucial to organize your time effectively and stay focused on the long-term goal. There might be days when you'll need to make sacrifices, but remember the knowledge and growth you're gaining in return. 2. Learning from Missteps: Accept that your educational journey will have ups and downs. It's not about always getting it right but learning and evolving from the missteps. Each challenge faced is an opportunity for growth, allowing you to refine and enhance your abilities over time. 3. Power of Unity: One of the unexpected treasures of this program is the network of driven individuals you'll meet. Forge strong bonds with your fellow students; they will be your source of encouragement, advice, and camaraderie. Pooling resources, knowledge, and perspectives often illuminates a clearer path forward. 4. Self-Exploration: Brace yourself for deep self-reflection. The program will push you to introspect, evaluating your principles, ethos, and methodologies. This inward journey, though sometimes challenging, is pivotal as it forms the bedrock for lasting personal and professional metamorphosis. In short, come into this program with a receptive attitude, ready to face challenges head-on, learn from every situation, and build meaningful relationships. The dedication you bring and the resources the program extends will pave the way for a rewarding academic and personal expedition.

4.  What was your favorite/most memorable part of being a graduate student at CSULB?

Shared experiences and challenges vividly mark my time at CSULB as a graduate student. Navigating the complexities of CalAPA videos and documents was a highlight, with our cohort coming together in unprecedented ways. Our lively discussions and debates stood out, bringing rich perspectives and fostering mutual growth. Yet, during our most challenging times, when stress seemed to peak, the bond within our cohort truly solidified. The overwhelming challenges were met with collective resilience, shared humor, and unwavering support, making my journey at CSULB educational and profoundly memorable.

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Gladys Photo

Principal of Applied Technology Center High School

1. How has obtaining this degree and/or credential positively affected your employment experiences and life overall? 

Obtaining my master's degree from CSULB has been a transformative journey for both my professional and personal life. The rigorous curriculum, coupled with the guidance of exceptional professors like Dr. Glass, equipped me with advanced leadership skills, allowing me to further my career. The experience I gained through the Educational Administration program not only sharpened my analytical abilities to better solve real school-based equity issues, but it also gave me a deeper understanding of real-world applications. 

2. Where are you currently working and what is your title/position? Please also let us know if you have earned, or are in the process of earning, an additional degree or credential since you finished this program. 

I am the new Principal of Applied Technology Center High School. I plan on furthering my educational career by applying for the Educational Doctorate in Educational Leadership at CSULB in the Spring of 2024. 

3. What advice do you have for a prospective student to your program? 

Remember, your journey is not just about acquiring knowledge but also about personal and professional growth. Don’t hesitate to approach professors if you need clarification or guidance, they are there to help you succeed! Pursuing higher education can be stressful. Take time for self-care activities to relax and recharge. Stay dedicated, curious, and open-minded, and you'll make the most out of your experience at CSULB. 

4. What was your favorite/most memorable part of being a graduate student at CSULB? 

Addressing equity issues within schools was a central focus of my studies and the most memorable part of being a graduate student at CSULB. I had the opportunity to be involved in action research that aimed to bridge the educational gap. It was inspiring to see how education can be a powerful tool for social change. In addition, collaborating with my peers was also incredibly rewarding. Class discussions were not just opportunities to express our thoughts but also platforms for challenging existing ideas. 

STEAM Magnet Science Teacher & GATE Coordinator

1.  How has obtaining this degree and/or credential positively affected your employment experiences and life overall?

In obtaining a Master's in Educational Administration, I feel more informed about the academic, social-emotional, and financial needs of students and the community.

2. Where are you currently working and what is your title/position?

I work at Dana Middle School in San Pedro, California as a STEAM magnet science teacher and GATE coordinator.

3. What advice do you have for a prospective student to your program?

I would suggest that prospective students carefully reflect on their goals as an educator and how the strategies or information learned through their participation will support students and the broader community.

4. What advice do you have for a prospective student to your program?

The collaboration and support from the faculty and my cohort were phenomenal!

Assistant Principal for Garden Grove Unified School District

1. How has obtaining this degree and/or credential positively affected your employment experiences and life overall?

Earning my degree and credential immediately impacted my career as I had the opportunity to apply and get hired as an Assistant Principal

2. Where are you currently working and what is your title/position?

Earning my degree and credential immediately impacted my career as I had the opportunity to apply and get hired as an Assistant Principal

3. What advice do you have for a prospective student to your program?

Earning my degree and credential immediately impacted my career as I had the opportunity to apply and get hired as an Assistant Principal

4. What was your favorite/most memorable part of being a graduate student at CSULB?

Earning my degree and credential immediately impacted my career as I had the opportunity to apply and get hired as an Assistant Principal

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Photo of Matthew

Title I Educator & Summer Academy Principal

1. How has obtaining this degree and/or credential positively affected your employment experiences and life overall?

In all honesty, one of the initial reasons I felt the need to further my education was due to the financial incentives/increases provided in the educational pay scale. While the completion of the program has supported financial gain that is only a small portion of the positive affects the program has had on my employment. I truly believe that the most beneficial aspects of my educational journey has been gaining a feeling of preparedness for whatever obstacles may arise. By understanding the interworking of a school community I have become better suited to support all educational stakeholders. The Educational Administration Program has provided me the knowledge and confidence to provide purposeful data driven solutions to parents, teachers, and students. Completion of the program has in many ways made me a more valued asset. I have become a more valued asset not because of the degree I have earned, but because of the knowledge gained in the process.

2. Where are you currently working and what is your title/position?

I currently work at Twila Reid School as a Title I educator. I have also taken on the responsibility as Summer Academy Principal (Savanna School District) over the past few years.

3. What advice do you have for a prospective student to your program?

If you are considering furthering your education I feel a great motivator is to look at educational costs in comparison with your future pay scale increase. Depending on your years of service I think many will find that the pay increase pays off the cost of the program fairly quickly. My other advice to prospective students is to go for it! The Educational Administrative Program is an investment in yourself. You will have the opportunity to learn from professors with real life experiences and the ability to collaborate with peers with like-minded goals and ambitions. Years ago I was told that by the end of the program I would feel qualified to be an administrator. At the end of the program I not only felt qualified and capable, but in many ways proven. The program is able to encompass all facets of educational administration to truly prepare you for success.

4. What was your favorite/most memorable part of being a graduate student at CSULB?

My favorite part of being a graduate student at CSULB was the ability to take what I would learn one night and implement it into practice the next day. A standout aspect of the program has been the ability to seek mentorship and advice even years after graduation. It has been an honor to be able to build professional relationships with professors who want to see you succeed beyond graduation day.

"I loved being part of a cohort!  It was really nice to work through the program with the same people, build those relationships and friendships, and make connections with people that I may not have made otherwise.  I also really appreciated having professors that had experience in different schools, in different areas, with different students.  I feel like it gave us a well-rounded perspective of the types of schools and/or districts we may work in as well some insight into what to expect outside of the district we were currently working in."

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Sara Coley

Sara C., Coordinator of Student Services for Newport-Mesa Unified School District

"I already had a Master’s degree, so I was just going to take the test to get my credential. I decided to go this route, and it was a good decision. You get to meet and discuss with a lot of current and former school admin, which prepared me for my next step. I wouldn’t have been prepared for the interview process when applying if not for the insight I gained from this program. I have met some great people, both mentors and peers.  Aside from learning a lot about school administration, I built great relationships with peers in my cohort.  If you’re serious about going into Ed Admin, this is the way to go."

 

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AJ Cunningham Alumni

AJ C., Assistant Principal at Hillview Middle School, East Whittier City School District

"Having previously co-founded and directed a charter high school in South L.A. (2008-2011), this program provided me with much-needed, invaluable training and information in multiple leadership areas including curriculum & instruction, HR, employee relations, finance and operations, and successful implementation of transformational strategies. As a result of the EDAD program, today, as principal, I am empowered with a wealth of tools, strategies and information to ensure collaborative, democratic, and highly effective leadership and decision-making. I enjoyed so many things about the EDAD program, but I especially enjoyed the education law class well as reading Crucial Conversations with Professor "Sparkle" Peterson. I learned so much from both of these classes, and I find myself referencing things learned in class almost on a daily basis."

 

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Dr. Lisa M. Edwards

Lisa E., Principal at Century Academy for Excellence

“The program provided a reflection for what kind of professional I am and what kind of leader I want to be. The EDAD program is a door of opportunity. Read professionally. The best of any profession stand on the shoulders of others. Professors will take you out of your comfort zone. You need that experience before standing in front of your staff.”

 

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Photo of Jason Johnson, Principal at Lincoln Elementary, Red

Jason J., Principal at Lincoln Elementary, Redondo Beach Unified School District

My experience at Cal State Long Beach was invaluable to my work as a site administrator. My time at CSULB gave me great exposure to relevant leadership challenges facing school administrators and provided hands-on experience through shadowing a site principal. Additionally, the program introduced me to lifelong friends, colleagues, and mentors, all of whom I regularly turn to for advice and guidance in my career.

 

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Photo of Ryan W.

Ryan W., Principal at McAuliffe Middle School, Los Alamitos Unified School District