Congratulations to Dr. Daniel Choi

Congratulations to assistant professor, Dr. Daniel Choi on securing a $253,261 continuing service grant from the Rancho Santiago Community College District for your work on the CSUF Teacher Pathway Partnership!

Congratulations Ed.D. Alumni Anabel Perez

We would like to congratulate Anabel Perez, a student in Ed.D. Cohort 8, who directs Mt. SAC’s Bridge Program that was recognized by Excelencia in Education.

Mt. SAC’s Bridge Program is one of six community college finalists from throughout the country nominated for the Examples of Excelencia 2016 awards. The national award celebrates programs that promote Latino student achievement.

Beginning in 1998, the Bridge Program helps first-time basic skills level freshmen succeed in college. Through the use of cohort groups, the program “bridges” the gap between high school and college by providing support services that address students’ needs. Ninety-two percent of the students in the program are Latino.

Finalists for the award were selected from the 190 nominations received from 33 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Winners will be announced Sept. 21 at the Celebracion de Excelencia event in Washington, D.C.

The award is sponsored by Excelencia in Education, a national nonprofit organization that promotes Latino student success in higher education.

Most Diverse Ed.D Student Body

We are proud to announce that these incoming 50 Ed.D. students are the most diverse we have had in our 10 year program. Special thanks for this year’s success go to Dr. Marc Ecker, Dr. Ding-Jo Currie, Dr. Dawn Person, and Dr. Natalie Tran. Also, thank you to Dr. Hasmik Danielian, Superintendent of the Norwalk La Mirada Unified School District, for partnering with us to host a cohort at the NLMUSD Office! 



CSUF Faculty Training Focuses on First-Generation Students

Cal State Fullerton’s Faculty Development Center this summer presented its first-ever extended, multi-day faculty institute focused on first-generation college students, their struggles and the importance of faculty support for this student population.

“Over half of our students at Cal State Fullerton are first-generation college students and research shows that, as a result, they do have different instructional needs,” said Maria Estela Zarate, associate professor of educational leadership and one of the institute leaders.

In May, 54 percent of students who graduated from CSUF with bachelor’s degrees were the first in their families to do so.

The three-day “Teaching First-Generation College Students: Simple Strategies to Support Academic Achievement” institute aimed to encourage faculty to discuss, develop and integrate specific teaching techniques to support the academic achievement of first-generation college students, such as how to be explicit in their expectations and instructions.

Workshops highlighted themes like incorporating culturally responsive instruction, fostering resilience, social integration, teamwork and boosting student engagement.

“I think at the most basic level (faculty) have to remember in being the first in their families to go to college, they don’t have a lot of the family-shared knowledge of going to college,” said Zarate of first-generation college students. “They are navigating on their own.”

These students typically aren’t as familiar with college dorms or faculty office hours the way other students might be, she said.

They may also not know what resources are available or who to reach out to on a university campus when they have a question or issue to resolve.

Faculty members could have a positive role in introducing these students to resources available on campus, Zarate said.

The August institute was led by Zarate and Rebecca Gutierrez Keeton – a professor of educational leadership – both of whom were first-generation students.

“This is such a crucial topic for CSUF faculty members to learn more about because so many CSUF students are first-generation college students,” said Laura Lohman, director of the Faculty Development Center.

“Nationally, first-generation college students are more likely than other students to quit college after their first year, so this is a very important group of students to support from the outset,” she said.

“First-generation college students are a diverse group, but we can anticipate and help them with some common struggles,” Lohman said.

According to Lohman, faculty can help first-generation college students by:

• Making clear through the language in their course policies that they are eager to help students succeed

• Incorporating more opportunities for social interaction in class

• Being proactive in establishing strong individual relationships with students

• Providing ample opportunities for collaborative learning

• Introducing real-world application of the concepts and skills being taught

• Guiding students to set personal goals

• Incorporating high-impact practices

“The overall goal of the institute was to familiarize faculty members with a range of relatively simple strategies that they can use to support the academic success of first-generation college students and to guide them in incorporating these strategies into at least one course that they will be teaching this fall or spring,” Lohman said.

Some first-generation college students struggle with being pressured to drop out of school by family members who question why the student is dedicating an abundance of time and resources to their classes, she said.

“A faculty member who reaches out with encouragement and support to such a student may be what helps that student persist and complete their degree,” she said.

Funding for the institute was provided by a grant awarded to Lohman from the National Education Association Foundation.

Due to the long waiting list and positive feedback the institute has garnered among all faculty, the center is working to bring back the summer institute and develop similar seminars.

Original news source can be found here.

Contact the writer:

Dr. Zarate is a full time professor and advocate for bilingual education and her research focuses on equitable access to higher education, college persistence among first-generation students, the educational trajectory of Latino students, and the family and social context of Latino students’ educational experiences. Learn more about Dr. Zarate here.

Dr. Rebecca Gutierrez-Keeton is a full time professor at the Educational Leadership Department.  Her research interests involve higher education, multiple identity development, social justice, transition to college programs, women in student affairs, student perceptions of leadership, and Latina Leadership. Learn more about Dr. Rebecca Gutierrez-Keeton here.

College of Education Faculty Publish: Engaged Scholarship: (Re) Focusing on Our Mission

Our very own College of Education faculty, Dr. Lisa Kirtman, Dr. Erica Bowers, and Dr. John Hoffman have recently been published in Metropolitan Universities Vol. 27.2 which focuses on practical and diverse approaches to the challenge of integrating engaged scholarship into academic culture and policies. Check it out:


Chinese Scholars Study With College of Education Faculty

Cal State Fullerton’s College of Education is hosting 16 faculty members from colleges and universities in Shanghai, China, who will be mentored by CSUF faculty members. The visiting scholars, sponsored by Shanghai Normal University, will be on campus for six months to learn teaching strategies and American culture, as well as conduct research and engage in discipline exchanges.

“These global exchanges are important to enhance and broaden cultural understanding for our students, and faculty and staff members,” said Ding-Jo H. Currie, lecturer in educational leadership, who is directing the scholar exchange.

The Chinese faculty members — from a variety of disciplines, such as computer science, engineering, English and social sciences disciplines — also will participate in workshops, observe classes and deliver guest lectures. The college also has a partnership with Shanghai Normal University to prepare its students in graduate-level training in CSUF’s master’s degree program in education-higher education.


Original news article source can be found here.


Higher Education Faculty & Staff Luncheon












Our Higher Education faculty and staff recently held a holiday luncheon to celebrate another successful year at our department. There have been several milestones in our department this year.


  • Organized two successful research symposiums: 4th Annual Education Research Symposium and the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED) convening
  • Welcomed our eight cohort for our Doctorate of Education Program (EdD) with a specialization in Community College and Master’s in Higher Education program
  • Also welcomed Shanghai students in our Master’s in Higher Education program
  • Our Master’s in Higher Education students hosted the Maywood Education Fair and provided multiple scholarships for students of color
  • Several students in our department have presented their research at regional and national conferences
  • Our faculty have published their work in renowned journals, books, and popular media outlets
  • The number of followers in our departmental Facebook page has more than tripled

There are many reasons to feel thankful and proud of the amazing work our department has accomplished!

(In the photo :: left to right: Dr. Dawn Person, Yvonne Garcia, Dr. Jerome Hunter, Dr. Ding-Jo Currie, Tina M. King, Dr. Eugene Fujimoto; [front row] Dr. Meri Beckham & Dr. Rebecca Gutierrez-Keeton)

Dr. Natalie Tran explains why bilingualism matters











Dr. Natalie Tran was recently interviewed by the Orange County Register to speak on why bilingualism matters. Dr. Tran shared that bilinguals experience various benefits. This includes enhanced communication and an edge in the job market. In addition, bilinguals tend to exhibit enhanced cognitive skills and experience better educational outcomes. She also shared how to raise bilingual kids at home. Drawing from her own experience, she recommended for parents to be intentional about which language they choose to speak at home and to seek resources (e.g. books, organizations) to introduce the language. Read more about here.

Dr. Tran is an associate professor for our department and is the director of the National Resource Center for Asian Languages (NRCAL).

Maywood Education Fair











Our Master’s in Higher Education (MSHE) students and the Center for Research on Educational Access and Leadership (C-REAL)  hosted  the Annual Maywood Education Fair at Saint Rose of Lima Church on Saturday, October 17, 2015.

The Maywood Education fair is a community event where underrepresented high school students and their families were provided information about college and financial aid.

Nine Maywood Community scholarships were awarded to exceptional Maywood high school students. All scholarships totaled about $4,000.

Take a look at photos of the event below!


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