Student Perspectives, Charter College of Education, California State University, Los Angeles

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Pauline Rodriquez
Brodwin Family Scholarship Recipient

Photo of Paulina Rodriquez

“I am a 1st generation college student, completing my final year in the Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling program. I am a fortunate recipient of a CCOE scholarship. 
Without the financial support that the scholarships have provided for myself and many students, we would not be able to continue our education. Students at Cal State LA juggle a lot. At the CCOE, I see it first-hand. We have students who work, come to school, all while staying involved in activities and organizations. Students are driven by their love to help and serve in our college. Scholarships help us keep it up and keep it going.”



Elizabeth Vacco
Friends of the CCOE Scholarship Recipient

Photo of Elizabeth Vacco“I was honored to receive a scholarship from the Friends of the Charter College of Education. I thank you for these unanticipated opportunities and for all of your support. It has been instrumental as I continue to approach the work of improving myself as a teacher with passion, dedication, commitment to the arts and with the time for reflection that these pursuits deserve.” 





Mikael Taylor

A few years ago, I transferred into the Credential Program at the Charter College of Education (CCOE) at Cal State LA after finishing my bachelor's degree at a private school. I had some negative assumptions about the fact that it was a state school, but after going through the program, I am inspired to become an advocate for all public education institutions in our state.

Picture of Mikael Taylor

From the faculty in this program, I was equipped for reflective practice and holistic classroom management, which was an important part of my student teaching experience. The Writing Lab program, co-developed by the CCOE and Alhambra High School, gave me active experience. Not only did I have the opportunity to work with high school students, but I also had a place to put the teaching strategies I had learned at the CCOE into practice before jumping full speed into the classroom.


Picture of Mikael TaylorI am very grateful for both the theoretical and practical framework I was given throughout my two years at the school. I feel ready to pursue the next step of becoming a public school educator.





Parisa Lamarra

Parisa Lamarra earned her credential at the Charter College of Education (CCOE) Visual Impairment Credential Program. She now serves as a teacher for the visually impaired for the Los Angeles County Office of Education, and teaches as an adjunct at the CCOE at Cal State LA.


I have two children, a son, who is twelve years old, and a daughter who is nine. Both of my children were born with a rare genetic condition which caused them to be severely visually impaired. Prior to that, I’d never met a blind person before. I knew nothing about the condition or what to do for my children. I was floundering. It was a really difficult time. Picture of Parisa Lamarra

Then a visual impairment teacher came to our house to work with my daughter. I found myself asking the teacher about herself and how she got into her profession. She told me about the credential program at the CCOE. It was one of those “Ah ha” moments. I realized then that it was my duty to go to school and learn to teach the visually impaired, not just so I would be better able to work with my own children, but also to give back to this community that had really saved us! That very day, I reached out to the director of the program and started the ball rolling.

It took me two and a half years to complete my credential. I already had a Master’s in an unrelated field, but I can say, getting this credential this was the best educational experience in my life. I learned more during my time in the credential program than I learned in all of my previous years in education. 

The experience of being in the program was both educational and cathartic for me personally. I became more at ease. I learned things in class that I could directly relate to my own home but also in my future teaching experiences. It was amazing. After being in the program, experiencing things such as being blindfolded for a day and other things so that I could better relate, I felt very prepared to go out and work with students who had visual impairment. 

I am honored to be able to teach the visually impaired. I feel as if I have come full circle in my life – I had children who were blind, and now I get to teach in the very program which game me my start. 


Suzy Stepanian

Photo of Suzy StepanianI was in the Urban Learning Program (ULRN) at the Charter College of Education (CCOE). It has been an educational experience that I cherish. The curriculum is transformative and progressive. What I learned opened my mind to the vast world of non-traditional teaching.   

In the program, I found that my professors were genuine, caring and inspiring. They served as role models and mentors to me and my peers. Any difficulty I faced was met with support from my professors, counselors, and the administrative staff. 

I am proud of my decision to enroll in the ULRN program at Cal State LA. I always recommend this program to aspiring teachers.