STEP is a full-time, 12-month program that combines theory and practice throughout. Teacher candidates gain classroom experience during the day. In the afternoon, they attend courses, including a weekly seminar designed to foster community and support their growth as educators.
Coursework and field work are designed to prepare graduates to meet the practical and intellectual challenges of the teaching profession, to serve the needs of diverse students, and to take leadership roles in schools and communities.
STEP elementary teacher candidates take a minimum of 45 units, distributed over four quarters and leading to a master’s in education and a preliminary California multiple subject teaching credential. They may also opt to earn a California Spanish bilingual authorization. Each candidate participates in two to three classroom placements under the supervision of expert cooperating teachers and a university supervisor.
Elementary curriculum and coursework
Many areas of knowledge underlie effective teaching. The course progression is designed both to equip and support candidates with a depth of content knowledge, a repertoire of powerful pedagogical practices, an understanding of and commitment to research, and a view of teaching informed by an appreciation of the socio-cultural contexts of education.
The STEP teaching seminar sits at the nexus of the clinical and academic elements of the program and provides a context for self-reflection and building community within the cohort.
Students who opt to earn a bilingual authorization receive special preparation to teach in bilingual settings.
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Elementary clinical work
A full school year of field work is central to the STEP program. Elementary STEP teacher candidates are placed in two to three classroom experiences, including one in an upper grade and one in a lower grade. Bilingual candidates complete at minimum one quarter of student teaching in an officially-designated bilingual classroom.
Critical to these placements are the expert cooperating teachers, selected for their alignment with the STEP curriculum, dedication to mentoring new teachers, and experience in the classroom.
In addition, STEP is committed to the partnership school model of student teaching assignments, meaning that in addition to cooperating teachers, the school site administrative staff shares a commitment to the professional preparation of teacher candidates. These partnership relationships between school and university strengthen consistency and coherence for STEP teacher candidates.
Examples of elementary placements
This map shows examples of schools that have served as placement school sites for STEP elementary teacher candidates. Filter down using the map's sidebar.
To learn more about the cost of the program and options for financial support, please visit Financing STEP on the admissions website.
For more information on the application process, contact STEP Student Services Associate Viviana Alcazar at firstname.lastname@example.org. To attend STEP admissions webinars (May-November), visit the admissions event page.