Recent News

School of Education Receives $4.1 Million Federal Grant to Reform Teaching Programs

Oct 26, 2018

Trio of Cal Poly grant overseers

Education Professor Megan Guise has received a $4.1 million U.S. Department of Education grant to reform teacher preparation programs in elementary, secondary and special education. School of Education faculty Tanya Flushman and Briana Ronan will serve as co-principal investigators. “Pathways and Partnerships to Ensure Student Success” takes an interdisciplinary approach to teacher education and includes deliberate partnering at all levels of teacher preparation. The award brings together four colleges, the Office of University Diversity and Inclusion, and the Center for Engineering, Science and Mathematics Education. The grant also includes partnerships with four high-need school districts in Paso Robles, Guadalupe and South Monterey and Kern counties. Project goals include: recruiting teachers from underrepresented populations and teacher shortage areas (STEM fields, special education, agriculture, bilingual education); creating deliberate and sustaining partnerships with high-need partner districts; implementing a two-year, formalized induction program that includes high-quality mentoring, structured observations, instructional rounds and professional development; and developing teacher learning around K-12 literacy skills across the subject areas (particularly in STEM and computer science). This is the third Teacher Quality Partnership grant awarded to Cal Poly faculty.

Alum Camille Chabot, Teaching in Paris After Beating Cancer

Aug 17, 2018

Camille Chabot, MS Teaching Credential Alum, talks about her journey to beat cancer while obtaining her teaching credential from the School of Education.


SOE Student Teachers Receive Award from Honor Society

Aug 14, 2018

3 Student Teachers from the School of Education at Cal Poly were honored by the Epsilon Delta chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma International, a professional society for women educators.


Welcoming New Team Members

May 24, 2018

Andrew Byrne joined the faculty of the Higher Education Counseling/Student Affairs Program, coming from The Ohio University. Byrne holds a bachelor’s in political science and history from Grove City College, two master’s degrees — one in rehabilitation counseling and substance abuse and another in clinical counseling — and a doctorate in rehabilitation counseling/addictions, all from East Carolina University.

Jessica Jensen brings her expertise in mathematics education to the Multiple Subject Teacher Preparation Program. Jensen’s research focuses on the ways in which mathematics teachers question students to probe deeper thinking about mathematical ideas and the effects of teachers’ beliefs and mathematical knowledge on classroom questioning practices. Jensen was selected for the 2017 TeachingWorks Mathematics Methods Fellowship through the University of Michigan and holds a doctorate and bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa and a master’s degree from Viterbo University.

Sonia Ramrakhiani joined the Higher Education Counseling/Student Affairs Program this fall after completing doctoral studies at Old Dominion University. Her research interests include examining campus safety experiences for minority students and overall experiences of first generation college students. Ramrakhiani holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Mumbai University and a master’s in mental health counseling from Syracuse University. She received Outstanding Student recognition in both her master’s and doctoral programs.

Alma Cordova joined the Credential Office in March 2018 from Cal Poly’s Office of Institutional Research. She has extensive experience working in higher education at Cuesta College and Maricopa County Community Colleges. She has additional experience in education as a California Student Opportunity and Access Program tutor at Dos Pueblos Senior High School and volunteer English teacher at Favela do Vidigal in Rio de Janeiro. Cordova earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology from UC Santa Barbara and her master’s in languages and cultures from University College Cork, Ireland, and completed her studies with honors.

Virginia McMunn joined the School of Education team in spring 2017 as assessment and accreditation coordinator to support continuous program improvement and accreditation compliance. McMunn previously served as a classroom teacher, assessment coordinator and teacher effectiveness specialist for two charter school districts in the Los Angeles area. She earned her bachelor’s in history and sociology with teacher certification at the University of Michigan and her master’s in teaching social studies at the University of Southern California. She is a National Board Certified Teacher.

Traice Muguira joined the School of Education in winter 2018 as the clinical practice coordinator to support credential programs in finding quality placements for candidates to complete their clinical practice experiences. Muguira has 16 years of professional experience in the youth development field throughout San Luis Obispo County and northern Santa Barbara County, most recently working with Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County. She is a Cal Poly alumnus and has earned a bachelor’s degree in child development, a multiple subject teaching credential and a master’s degree in education.

Continue reading Welcoming New Team Members...

Faculty Scholarship and Publications

May 24, 2018

Navarro Named Transformative Teacher Education Fellow

Arcadia University named Oscar Navarro a 2018 Transformative Teacher Education Fellow for his “great passion and a unique perspective in working for social justice in teacher education.” Navarro was one of 14 fellows selected from over 115 applicants who will participate in a summer institute and embark on research that explores the recruitment and retainment of K-12 teachers of color. 

Faculty Published in Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy

Briana Ronan and Julee Bauer, together with local teachers and curriculum and instruction master’s students Laurie lunker, Jesse Sanford and Michelle Berry published a paper titled “Building Literacy Partnerships Across District and Institutional Boundaries.” It highlights their work to build a professional learning community to transform literacy practices in meeting the needs of Latino and emergent bilingual student populations.

Somoza-Norton Conducts Research on Applications of Biomimicry in Educational Leadership

Andrea Somoza-Norton is working to integrate biomimetic applications in the Educational Leadership and Administration Program. Biomimicry, the practice of applying principles from nature and ecology to organizations and management, encourages educational leaders to expand their point of view in solving current educational issues. Somoza-Norton’s research supports Cal Poly’s Sustainability Objectives and will be the School of Education’s (SOE) first approved sustainability-aligned course. Findings from the research were also presented at the Oxford Education Research Symposium last December and will be published in the California Association of Professors of Educational Leadership Journal in fall 2018.

Researchers Present Locally and Nationally

Cal Poly faculty members Tanya Flushman, Megan Guise, Chance Hoellwarth and Nancy Stauch (pictured), together with grants specialist Sarah Hegg, published and presented their research on SOE’s innovative clinical practice experience and partnerships with local school districts. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s TOP Grant to support partnerships with federally classified high needs schools, the research has resulted in the publication of four articles and several presentations on the impact of co-teaching practices on teacher candidate development. Additional grants through the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation have supported research and articles on improving supervisor coaching and feedback to teacher candidates during fieldwork experiences.

HEC/SA Program Nominated for President’s Diversity Award

The Higher Education Counseling/Student Affairs team was a program finalist for the 2017 President’s Diversity Award in recognition of the program’s outstanding efforts to promote diversity, equity and inclusivity on the Cal Poly campus. SOE staff member Virginia McMunn was also a finalist for an individual award in recognition of her previous work with the Cal Poly Scholars program.

Students, Alumni Serve Fire Victims and High-Needs Students

May 24, 2018

Student and Alumni Highlights

Student Volunteer Supports Santa Rosa Fire Victims

Shelby Green, a masters degree and teaching credential candidate in the Special Education Program, was featured in The Tribune on October 25 for volunteering to support victims of the Santa Rosa fire. Green brought donated items and handmade cards from her mothers second-grade class at Sinsheimer Elementary School to fire victims.

Cal Poly Intersections Magazine Features SOE Alumna

Brittny Nation (Biochemistry, 11; Single Subject Teaching Credential, 12) was featured in the College of Science and Mathematics Intersection Magazine for her work to bring hands-on science education to high-needs high school students. The article also featured Single Subject Program faculty members Seth Bush and Nancy Stauch.

Alumna Named Cupertino Teacher of the Year

Moriah Blodgett (Tenney) (Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, ‘14) was named Teacher of the Year after serving in Cupertino Union School District for the past three years as a fourth-grade teacher. Blodgett also received a Cares and Shares Award from the city of Los Altos recognizing her innovative and caring nature in the classroom.

New EdTech Lab to Provide Hands-on Experience with Instructional Technology

May 24, 2018

The School of Education is transforming the existing computer lab into a state-of-the-art Educational Technology Lab to showcase classroom technologies for our teacher candidates and local teachers. The EdTech Lab will allow teacher candidates to learn to use instructional technology on multiple platforms. This hands-on engagement with diverse forms of technology will inspire future teachers to promote student learning and 21st-century skills. The EdTech Lab will also support a collaborative classroom environment that will allow participants to fully engage from remote locations.

Construction will begin this summer, as SOE continues efforts to raise $20,000 to support the purchase of additional equipment. If you would like to support the EdTech Lab, you can contact Kevin Taylor at or 805-756-1503 or use the button below.

Founder of TeachingWorks Gives Lesson on Teaching for Justice

May 22, 2018

Last fall, the School of Education (SOE) hosted a visit and lecture from Deborah Loewenberg Ball, the founding director of the University of Michigan’s TeachingWorks.

In her lecture, titled “The Power of Teaching — and Learning to Wield it for Justice,” Loewenberg spoke with 70 students from across the teacher education programs about her research in teaching practices that empower students from diverse backgrounds. Loewenberg delivered a powerful challenge to future teachers to recognize and confront the biases and preconceptions that they may bring to the classroom. During the lecture, students participated by analyzing video footage of innovative teaching strategies and discussing current issues and needs in education.

SOE is engaged in a yearlong partnership with TeachingWorks as part of Professor Jessica Jensen’s fellowship in mathematics education, funded in part by a grant from the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation. The partnership will support the Multiple Subject Teacher Education program’s investigation of how teacher candidates are taught high leverage practices for mathematics education.

Loewenberg’s presentation coincided with SOE’s continuous improvement theme for 2017-18: Advancing Disciplinary Knowledge. As part of the theme year, the school hosted several guest lectures and professional development events, including author talks from Matt de la Pena and Angela Dominguez, a movie screening of “Swim Team,” two workshops on restorative justice applications in education, and a presentation from Patrick O’Sullivan of the Cal Poly Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology.

18 Commencement Logo

6/16 - 2018 SOE Commencement Ceremony

May 21, 2018

School of Education
Commencement Ceremony

Christopher Cohan Performing Arts Center
Saturday, June 16, 2018

All master’s degree and credential graduates are encouraged to participate!

All graduates are individually recognized and photographed on the stage of the Performing Arts Center!

10:30 am Graduates line up by the PAC ticket office
10:30 am PAC auditorium doors open – Seating is first-come, first-served.
11:00 am Ceremony begins

What to Wear
Master’s degree graduates wear regalia (cap, gown & hoods - visit the University Store for details)
Credential graduates wear professional dress (no caps & gowns)

Tickets for Graduates
All graduates will receive a free, commemorative ticket for the ceremony.
Commemorative tickets are available May 14 – June 15, 2018 at the School of Education Credential Office (Bldg 02-Rm 120).

Tickets for Guests
All guests need a ticket to enter the PAC for the ceremony.
Guest tickets will be available for purchase May 14 – June 15, 2018 at the Credential Office (02-120), or via special arrangements through your program coordinator. The ticket price is $5.00 each (cash or check only), with a maximum of eight tickets per graduate. Please make check or money order payable to: “Cal Poly Corporation” with the number 81111 on the memo line.
Remaining tickets will be sold in any quantity on a first-come, first-served basis starting on June 4, 2018.

Special Accommodations
If you or your guest requires special accommodations at the ceremony, please inform the Credential Office (02-120) when purchasing your tickets and no later than Wednesday, June 13, 2018. For additional information, please call 805-756-2126 or email

We look forward to seeing you and your guests at the School of Education Commencement Ceremony!


Related Content

School of Education
California Polytechnic State University
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407