​​​​California State University campuses across the state welcomed thousands of teachers July 28 for the third annual Better Together: California Teachers Summit. The event is part of the CSU’s continued support for its credential program graduates and K-12 education in the state and brings together a network of educators to share strategies that promote student success. 

Many of the teachers in attendance were returning to campus as alumni. Recent graduate John Corsica came back to CSU Long Beach to volunteer for the event, wanting to give back to the university that supported him through his academic journey. He graduated this past spring with his multiple subject credential and a supplementary authorization in math and science and will be teaching for Paramount Unified this fall. 

Corsica chose the CSU because of a university-wide Integrated Teaching Education Program​ (ITEP) that allows students to complete their credential work along with a bachelor's degree in as fast as four years. The program enables students to start their teaching careers in less time and saves them money. 

“Because I was technically an undergraduate student, I was able to qualify for more financial aid than if I were a post-graduate student,” Corsica said. “I also qualified for a scholarship I would have otherwise been ineligible for.” 

Corsica also enjoyed an immersive learning experience through a program called UTEACH (Urban Teaching Academy) where students in their final year of education spend half the day student teaching and half the day taking classes at their school site. Professors leave their traditional classrooms behind to travel to school sites and conduct classes designed to provide individualized attention. 

“The faculty were with me along the way,” said Corsica. “They spent a lot of time with me in these courses discussing classroom management and individual circumstances I would face.” 

Jere Gobert, a second grade teacher at Marguerite Poindexter Lamotte elementary school in Los Angeles, was back on the CSU Long Beach campus for the first time since receiving her multiple-subject teaching credential in 2015. A Long Beach native, Gobert was advised by her high school counselor to attend a CSU, citing its reputation for being a leader in teacher education. 

“Being back on campus for this event reminded me that it wasn’t just about the classes,” said Gobert. “It was about being immersed, and I still feel like part of a larger teaching community.” 

With about a third of the teaching force nearing retirement, the Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning estimates that California will need an additional 100,000 teachers over the next decade. 

The CSU is proud to host events like the Better Together: California Teachers Summit in an effort to ensure the future of quality K-12 education in our state and, as the largest educator of teachers in the nation, is constantly seeking innovative ways to solve the teacher shortage.​