Building Community For Our Future Teachers

When a student decides they want to become a teacher, their path ideally starts during their Bachelor’s degree. Prerequisites are needed for the teaching credentials and students must plan during their undergraduate coursework in order to appropriately pick their classes.

Dr. Frederick Nelson, Chair of the Liberal Studies Department, started a group called The Dog Park. This is a place for Fresno State undergraduate students who are interested in becoming teachers to come together and network with one another. The students learn about the teaching profession and get an opportunity to build community with other future teachers.

The group has hosted two Dog Park events this Spring and have three more planned throughout the semester. The events include information to help students with their path to being prepared for their credential and other authorizations and/or certificates they may want to get during their studies. The Dog Park events also include ice breaker games, grant information, giveaways/prizes and free food.

Through these events Dr. Nelson is able to build a community of future credential students and increase the number of juniors who enter the Strategic Teacher Education Partnership (STEP) cohorts. The STEP cohorts are an innovative way of preparing new teachers, where the students are provided guaranteed classes, ideal schedules and student-focused teacher preparation. If Liberal Studies students enter the STEP cohort during their junior year, their path to becoming a teacher becomes smoother with prerequisites met.

Learn more about The Dog Park and future events in their Facebook Group.

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