Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What sets Cal State Fullerton’s Secondary Education Graduate Programs apart?

  • All of our programs are fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) as well as the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
  • In addition, all of our programs orient students to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). National Board standards and the certification process are recognized as being consistent with contemporary best practice in the profession. The graduate program provides 9 units of support for teachers pursuing National Board certification as their culminating experience.
  • Our hybrid model combines the best of online delivery with traditional face-to-face classes. This really helps our students to maintain full-time employment while completing a graduate program. This 21 month program alternates between face-to-face classes and 100% online coursework.
  • Our 100% online option is even more flexible for busy professionals, offering teachers the ability to complete their coursework totally online.

Q: How do I apply to the program?

Two cohorts are available each year (a hybrid cohort and a 100% online cohort).

Please call the department at 657-278-4028 for important application deadlines. Applications are initiated through CSU Mentor. Once you have applied online through CSU Mentor you may then complete your Application to the Master’s in Secondary Education. Students will be asked to submit their departmental application materials no later than 2 weeks after completing  an application through CSU Mentor.

Q: What is a cohort?

A “cohort” program means that all students go through the program together, taking the same classes each semester. This means that you start at the beginning of the program and continue with your cohort per the scheduled sequence.

You can’t simply start at any point along the course sequence/cycle. If you do stop at some point for any reason and then want to continue your participation in the program, you will need to take the classes only when they are offered again in the cohort cycle.

Q: What technology skills are required?

All students are expected to be knowledgeable in the use of a computer prior to being admitted to the program. Students should be able to use:

  • a personal computer to locate, create, move, copy, delete, name, rename, and save files and folders on hard drives and on secondary storage devices such as flash drives
  • Microsoft Word to create, edit, format, store, track changes, retrieve, and print documents, including electronic editing;
  • an electronic mail system to receive, create, edit, print, save, and send email messages with and without attached files;
  • an Internet browser, such as Internet Explorer or Firefox, to search and retrieve information, communicate using web-based synchronous and asynchronous utilities, and play flash-based videos; and
  • Microsoft Office software, including PowerPoint, Microsoft Word and Excel.

Q: What writing skills are required?

Clear and effective written communication is a necessary skill for learning success in all classes. Students should be able to:

  1. write with clarity and precision;
  2. accept that revision is at the heart of writing well. With this expectation in mind, students may be required to rewrite work that their instructors deem as not being at the graduate level.

Q: Who advises me?

Initial advisement prior to entering the program is provided by the Secondary Education Graduate Program Advisor and by the instructor of EDSC 501: Introduction to Graduate Studies in Secondary Education. To request an appointment, Contact Dr. Chris Street.

Q: Can I transfer into the program with completed course work from another university?

Due to the unique nature of this Hybrid MSE Program, course equivalency with other university’s graduate courses is very difficult. As such, transfer courses are very rarely approved in this program. Please check with the Secondary Education Graduate Program Advisor for more information.

Q: How much does the program cost?

As a state-supported institution, fees for California residents to attend CSUF are significantly lower compared to the cost of attending other universities. Even for students who are not California residents (who must also pay tuition), the cost of the CSUF program will typically be less than programs associated with private universities.

You can check the campus web site for the tuition and fees for the current academic year. Note that you will pay fees as a part-time Graduate student taking 6 units each semester (unless you enroll in courses beyond those required for our program).

Q: What funding opportunities exist for graduate students in this program?

Various sources of funding are available to graduate students. Please consult the following web site for additional information:

Q: What kinds of culminating experiences have students completed in the past?

In previous years we had students complete action research studies, submit articles for publication in peer-reviewed journals, author books, complete curriculum projects, and pursue National Board certification.

We are extremely supportive of students who pursue National Board certification as their culminating experience. Several of our students have pursued this option in the past, and we highly encourage all of our graduate students to consider this professional opportunity.

Q: How can I learn more?

To learn more about our programs, view our Overview video here, or call us at (657) 278-4028.

We look forward to receiving your application.

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Page updated: September 17, 2014