Math Degree Related questions
1. Does SCOPE offer a BA or BS degree and how many units does the degree require?
The degree program offered by SCOPE is an expedited version of BS in Math in Integrated Teaching Option, i.e, you will receive both the degree and teaching credential when you graduate. The unit requirement is 135 semester units which you can complete in 4 years with SCOPE.
There is also a considerably longer and more expensive (see See "Tuition and Teacher Salaries" below for a cost comparison) BS Traditional Teaching option where you first complete the BS degree (120 undergraduate units/typically 8 semesters) and then complete the teaching credential (47 credential units/typically 4 semesters).
2. How long does it take for one to complete the Integrated Teaching option?
Typically this degree takes 5 academic years; however, with SCOPE you take summer bridge courses targeted to complete the degree within 4 academic years, assuming that you take a pertinent full load (15-18 units) in most semesters and pass all courses. See a roadmap and/or program plan posted on this website for details on how to plan your courses.
3. How important is it to plan my courses ahead?
It is extremely important that you have a program planner completed in the first semester (with the help of a math faculty advisor) so you can stay on track. Students who do not plan ahead end up taking much longer to graduate. Note also that not all courses are offered in all semesters, so plan accordingly.
4. When should I take my first math course?
In the first semester! Math is hierarchical, and you MUST take as many lower divison math courses as you can in the first couple of semesters so you can complete all prerequisite courses. This in turn will enable you to get into upper division math courses in the third year.
5. How about GE courses? When should I take them?
Check the sample roadmap for your school (CC or CSULA) to see how one typically combines math and GE courses. Note that many of your GE requirements are met within your major as shown in program plan.
Many GE related questions are answered at the website below.
6. Do I need upper division GE courses?
You do NOT need upper division GE courses. Integrated option students cover UD GE requirements within major. Check program plan for reference.
7. What is an ideal way to combine my courses, such as GE, math or credential?
For the first 2 years, combine GE and lower division math courses, in the remaining years combine upper division math and credential courses. See sample roadmap for reference.
Credential Related Questions
1. I have been admitted to CSULA. Do I need to make another application for credential?
Yes, you need to fill out the CCOE application (Charter College of Education), in the spring semester of sophomore year. Go to CCOE website for information on how to apply. Consult with your math credential advisor for further help.
2. Do I need to take any test before I apply to CCOE?
You need to at least show that you are registered to take CBEST (California Basic Educator Skills Test). It is advisable that you pass this test by the end of your sophomore year. Create a study group with your cohort and prepare well.
3. Can I take credential courses without being admitted to the program?
You may take certain credential courses before you are admitted to the program. Consult with your math credential advisor, as those courses change over time.
Tuition cost and Teacher Salaries
1. How much does the tuition cost for CSULA?
Tuition fees change over time. The current full time (over 6 units) undergraduate fee is $3316.34 per semester. You can take up to 18 units per semester as a FT student.
2. Does Integrated Teaching option cost less than Traditional Teaching option?
Math dept. at Cal State LA offers two teaching options. SCOPE program is an expedited version of the Integrated Teaching option that allows you to complete both BS degree AND teaching credential in 135 undergraduate units and 4 years (10 semesters including summers). There is also a traditional Teaching option where you first complete the BS degree (120 undergraduate units/typically 8 semesters) and then complete the teaching credential (47 credential units/typically 4 semesters).
AY 2017 full time undergraduate units/fees cost per semester* is $3316, whereas full time credential unit cost $3774. By this formula, SCOPE program (Expedited Integrated Teaching option) costs 10*$3316= $33160 and 4 years whereas Traditional Teaching option & credential cost 8*$3316+4*3774 = $26,528+$15,096 = $41,624 and 5.5 years.
Additionally with SCOPE, you graduate 1.5 year early so you can potentially earn 1.5 years worth of extra salary!
*estimates as projected at http://www.calstatela.edu/sfinserv/fall-semester-2017-tuition-and-fees
3. I heard that having graduate units might increase my entry salary. Should I not do the Traditional Teaching option then?
Traditional Teaching option gives you 47 post-baccalaurate (after BS) units, which might increase your entry yearly salary only slightly for certain school districts. For example, in Los Angeles school district, an entry level teacher with BA earns $49,380/year, whereas an entry level teacher with BA + 42 graduate units earn $50,024/year.
However, when you compare your savings as shown in question 2 above, SCOPE (Expedited Integrated Teaching option) comes out as the more cost-effective one, as you pay close to $9000 less in tution and fees, and start earning 1.5 years earlier (which translates to a minimum of $75,000!)
Additionally, there are school districts where this salary difference is barely existent. For example, in the Long Beach school district, (below) an entry level teacher with BA earns $57,697/year, whereas an entry level teacher with BA + 56 graduate units earn $57,700/year.
4. Er...I do not see my question in your list!
Not a problem. Just click on "contact us" on the directory on the left and send your question our way. We will either contact you directly with the answer, or add your question to the list here along with the answer.
The following website also provides answers to many pertinent questions.