One of the issues facing most teacher training institutions is bridging the gap between theory and practice or, in other words, some university programs truly are ivory towers. In our teacher credential programs, a key element is providing real world experiences for aspiring educators, which is not only accomplished through intensive fieldwork and student teaching assignments, but also through close relationships with local schools.
For example, the College of Educational Studies has a very close, professional relationship with El Sol Science and Arts Academy in Santa Ana, California. El Sol, a public charter whose academic performance has garnered local, state, and national recognition not only boasts of having six former Chapman graduates as faculty, but it also is a preferred site for fieldwork and student teaching. Furthermore, its highly successful after school program is the subject of research being conducted by our professors, and other members of our staff serve on the El Sol board of trustees and provide consultant services. For more information on the El Sol Academy, please see the NBC La Education Nation piece on El Sol Academy.