Educational Opportunity Program | Spotlight

EDCI 093 is a ‘win win’ for EOP students, future teachers

New support class teaches incoming freshmen, trains teaching credential students

Photo of teaching credential student and English 101 student.
L-r: Teaching credential student Hillary Degani tutors first-year student Elsie Ureta in the EDCI 093 class.

Photo of teaching credential student and English 101 student
L-r: Incoming freshman Allan Lopez works with teaching credential student Emily Wiley in the EDCI 093 class.

While providing teaching credential students with classroom training, a newly-launched course also offers CSULA students admitted through the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) one-on-one tutoring in order to polish their English composition skills.

To develop the support class for English 101, Education Professor Rebecca Joseph conceptualized a way to provide intensive reading and writing support to EOP freshmen. The class, EDCI 093, is offered in collaboration with English 101 taught by CSULA faculty Jorge Ribeiro.

Professor Joseph, an expert on secondary teaching focused on professional development in active engagement and literacy, piloted EDCI 093, which enables teaching credential students to go in to the classroom and tutor the students who progressed from remedial English to English 101.

Griselda Alvarez, a freshman criminal justice major, said that the course is helping her to do well in other classes too, and has taught her how to write more effectively. “I’ve been working with (teaching credential student) Lisa Burton who has really helped me out in many ways,” she said. “She has helped me succeed with my essays. I have an ‘A’ right now in my Communications class, so I am really happy.”

According to Joseph, “This program forms a unique learning opportunity for me, our undergraduates, EOP, and our credential students. These students are discovering how much they need to do to prevent a year of required remedial English. This is giving me a chance to interact with undergraduates and think of ways to improve my own work as a professor.”

Some of the teaching credential students stated that they are benefitting from the experience of teaming up with these incoming freshmen, who have confirmed to them that better preparation is needed in high school to equip them for college admission.

Kristina Clinton, who is studying to teach high school English, shared that the experience is molding her to be “a more sensitive and effective teacher.” She added, ”It’s really been helpful because I’m learning what they didn’t learn in high school. So I am also learning ways that, as a teacher, I can help them with their education, so they will be better prepared for college.”

At CSULA, all undergraduates must complete English 101 and 102 with a grade of “C” or higher, as well as take and pass the Writing Proficiency Exam (WPE) before completing 135 quarter units.

Undergraduates who don’t pass the WPE before 135 units are at risk for a registration hold, which prevents them from registering into any CSULA courses and proceeding toward graduation.

Professor Ribeiro said, “The learning community that we run for EOP students overturns the idea that these students shouldn’t be here... We are now seeing some people who went through our classes a few years ago graduating. So we are really helping to provide them with the ‘social capital’ they need to not only survive, but thrive on our campus and beyond.”

Established in 1969, EOP serves as a primary vehicle for the CSU in increasing the access, academic excellence and retention of California’s historically underserved students, specifically low-income, first-generation college students.

For a video clip featuring Professor Joseph, Kristina Clinton, Lisa Burton and Griselda Alvarez:

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