Cohort: San Diego Unified Partnership

Cohort Leader: 

Catherine (Cathy) Close
[email protected]

Unique Focus or Emphasis

This site-based cohort located in the Oak Park area of San Diego Unified School District provides hands-on opportunities to work with culturally & linguistically diverse students in an urban lower socioeconomic setting. The program emphasizes creating a student-centered, collaborative learning community within the classroom. Our rigorous curriculum focuses on developing students' critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
All coursework interweaves research theory and practice to develop thoughtful, reflective practitioners. You'll be able to understand and successfully apply exemplary teaching practices for working with children in diverse elementary school settings.

Another unique feature of this cohort is the supervision model used to support and mentor credential candidates in developing and applying effective teaching practices.


(Shared Mentoring in Instructional Learning Environments) is a process of teacher candidate supervision that emphasizes the collaboration between the university liaison (supervisor) and the guide classroom teacher. This process will promote the professional development of novice teachers by engaging in rotations of planning, teaching, reflecting, discerning problems, and applying new strategies. The major elements incorporated into the SMILE model include:

  • using professional learning communities (PKLC) that include 2 or more student teachers, guide teachers, and a university liaison,
  • the establishment of mentoring rotations, with each rotation focusing on a particular aspect of teaching, and
  • the use of video recorded lessons for reflection and problem-solving. 

Location of Courses

Carver Elementary School and San Diego State campus

Locations of Student Teaching

San Diego Unified elementary schools in urban neighborhoods such as the Eastern Area, City Heights, Linda Vista and Paradise Hills. 

Days/Times (approx. schedule) of Student Teaching

Monday-Friday 7:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., starting after Labor Day

Days/Times (approx. schedule) of Methods Courses

This cohort is an early start block with 1-2 full weeks of methods courses scheduled BEFORE the official start of the SDSU semester schedule.  These early weeks "frontload" important information and pedagogy in order to support successful practice in student teaching assignments.

After student teaching begins, 2-3 methods classes will shift to a 4:00 pm schedule with the possibility of one 7:00 pm evening class.  The majority of classes will be held at Carver Elementary School.

Early start weeks, Monday-Friday, 8:00 - 3:30 pm