Center for Science and Mathematics Education

CSME supports inclusive, high-quality STEM learning through educator development, enrichment programs and equity programs in STEM learning.

College of Science and Engineering, San Francisco State University
Established: 2005

Profile submitted by Eric Hsu

Vision and Goals

SF State's College of Science and Engineering has established CSME to cultivate excellence in the teaching and learning of STEM at all educational levels. The center's mission is to recruit, prepare, and support excellent STEM teachers; and to promote success of STEM students of all backgrounds.

Center/Program Structure

It is an independent unit within the College of Science and Engineering. The Center is proud of its many external and internal collaborations. The director is Professor of Mathematics and reports to the Dean of COSE. In 2013, CSME consisted of about 6.0 FTE staff with five 0.2 FTE faculty in residence assisted by about 2.0 FTE assistants and 0.6 FTE faculty director. Faculty in residence are released from a course to pursue a STEM education project.

Description of Programming

CSME TEACHING FELLOWS. Each year, CSME supports a cohort of more than 70 STEM majors and credential students interested in being K-12 teachers. Fellows join a community of aspiring teachers and gain experience in the field. The Fellows receive extra mentoring, special seminars and access to a dedicated study center. Fellows who commit to a minimum number of hours of public service receive stipends.

CSME is also supporting the development and revision of engaging math and science coursework for undergraduates and graduates, under-served student populations on a STEM-based career pathway, and in-service and pre-service teachers. CSME runs a number of programs to support collegiate STEM achievement, particularly for underrepresented minorities: Climate Change Scholars, STEM Career Pathways, and Supplemental Instruction. CSME arranges STEM enrichment activities for elementary, middle and high school students.

Successes and Impacts

Since the Teacher Fellows program's founding in 2008 through Fall 2012, 158 Fellows have performed over 17,000 hours of service for nonprofits and community groups and more than 25 local schools. $382,000 in stipends have been awarded, and the Fellows have been supported in winning over $285,000 in outside awards. The cohorts reflect the diversity and demographics of the SF Unified overall teacher population. Through Fall 2012:

  • 97% of Fellows graduated in STEM or are on track.
  • 87% of the Bachelors got/getting a credential.
  • 88% of the Credentials got a K-12 teaching job.
  • (100% of Credentials who were undergrad Fellows).
The program has increased the % of SFSU STEM credential students coming from SFSU (from 5% to 30-40%), increased the number of math majors with a teaching concentration from 25 to over 80, and gotten high satisfaction ratings.

STEM Career Pathways projects have increased the passing rates for at-risk students from 30-50% to 70-80% across five partner community colleges.

Elements Contributing to Success

  • Steady financial support
  • Dean's strong support
  • inclusion of CSME in leadership meetings.