Coordinator of Teacher Credential Intern Program
School of Education
March 1, 2011
“What if every teacher you or your children ever had was an excellent teacher?”
“What if every teacher you or your children ever had was an excellent teacher — a teacher who cared deeply about his/her students, inspired their academic growth and opened the door for future opportunities? For some, this is a reality. For way too many it is not.”
“Why shouldn’t every student have access to the best teachers, and why shouldn’t every person who might be that great teacher have an opportunity to enter the teaching profession?”
As coordinator of the Spring Start/Intern Credential program at UC Irvine, Karol Gottfredson has the opportunity to recruit and work with talented individuals who have a passion for teaching, learning, and service.
The UCI Intern Credential program is grounded in a strong partnership between UC Irvine’s Department of Education, several school districts, and other important community partners. Candidates who are accepted to the UCI Spring Start/Intern program have the advantage of participating in a rigorous academic program of study taught by distinguished research faculty, while experiencing fieldwork and student teaching in K-12 classrooms before they receive their intern or preliminary teaching credential. Once a candidate receives her or her Intern Credential, the candidate can be hired to teach in a public school classroom.
Ms. Gottfredson points out that many former UCI Intern teachers now hold leadership positions in school districts around Orange County.
Service, education, and collaboration have been consistent themes throughout Ms. Gottfredson’s professional and academic careers, well before she assumed the directorship of UCI’s Intern program. After receiving her B.A. in American Studies from UC Davis, she pursued her M.A. in Education at State University of New York in Albany while serving in the National Teacher Corps.
The National Teacher Corps had three components; teaching, academic preparation, and community service. I taught middle school as an Intern teacher, I studied for my master’s degree in education, and I was engaged in developing a youth legal education program in the community. These early experiences inspired me to do the work that I do today. In addition to directing the Department of Education Intern program, I’m honored to serve on the Board of Directors of the California Teacher Corps, making available to new Intern teachers the kinds of opportunities I have experienced, and bringing excellent teachers to the classrooms where they are most needed.
The joy in this work is bringing together amazing individuals who want to teach, with students and communities where they are needed. Every Intern teacher who has come through our program here at UCI is important to me. I wouldn’t begin to take credit for the work they are doing, but I will share credit for providing them with the opportunity to do this work.
As examples of Intern experience, Ms. Gottfredson cites the experiences of three current math Intern teachers.
Peggy teaches math at a middle school in Santa Ana. A majority of her students are English language learners. One class has 45 students, 15 of whom have “individualized education programs.” Her room is open to the students for homework help before and after school. When she identified several of the students as academically gifted, she arranged for them to participate in the Johns Hopkins online math program.
Amanda teaches math at a high school in Garden Grove. She advises several clubs and teaches algebra credit recovery after school. She employs multiple strategies to ensure that her English language learners, who speak Vietnamese and Spanish, are engaged in the curriculum.
Adam teaches at a high school in Irvine. He serves on the school’s Technology Advising Committee and provides multiple opportunities for his students to engage in math discourse through discussion and writing assignments.
Ms. Gottfredson explains that collaboration, which is absolutely essential for the success of the Spring Start Intern program, takes place within and outside of the University. The Intern program, as part of the Department of Education Teacher Credential program, has strong links with DOE research and clinical faculty. With Math, Science and Language Arts being identified as high needs teaching areas, the Intern program also has strong links with programs in the colleges of Physical Science, Biological Science and the Humanities.
Ms. Gottfredson has developed a UC Irvine Intern Advisory Council, which has evolved into a significant resource for promoting innovation in mentorship models for student and intern teachers and identifying the academic areas of need in local schools. The Council is composed of members from eight school districts, the Orange County Department of Education, UCI Extension, and Cal Teach on the UCI campus. Ms. Gottfredson is an active participant on committees and advisory boards with each of these entities to advance this collaboration.
Ms. Gottfredson also volunteers her time with community organizations that share her mission of providing quality education to all children and young adults. These include, Girls Incorporated, Women in Leadership, Crystal Cove Alliance, and Orange County Women’s Health Initiative.
My dream is that every child will be able to experience great teachers in their classrooms, opening doors for them to perhaps one day attend a university like UCI, or whatever other dream they choose to pursue.
In December 2010, Karol Gottfredson was honored by UC Irvine Extension with the Extension Dean’s Service Award for Collaboration