University of San Francisco

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Founded by the Jesuits in 1855, the University of San Francisco is the city by the bay’s oldest university. USF’s credential programs collaborate with some of California’s most diverse and culturally rich K-12 school districts. Our five campuses and two regional programs allow the teacher education department to reach across the state and into Xiamen,China, Budapest, Hungary and Tijuana, Mexico.

The teacher preparation programs at USF are distinctive for their appeal to individuals who are committed to serving the needs of children and adolescents while dedicating themselves to contributing to a better society. It is our mission to prepare graduates of our programs to become intellectual, social and moral leaders in the educational community. USF teacher education programs in elementary, secondary and special education include strands of preparation focused upon:

  • The Center for Teaching Excellence and Social Justice which seeks to produce progressive reform-minded teachers for urban centers

U.S. Department of Education 2002 Grantees Meeting Presentation
Electronic Portfolios:
Two Models From California State Standards

USF StarTEC QuickTime Movie

Electronic Portolio Handbook

TaskStream ePortfolio Tools of Engagement

USF Teacher Education Program Overview [PDF]

USF Teacher Tech Grant

  • Preparing environmental educators from the Yosemite National Institute at the Marin Headlands for their field-based science program for inspiring personal connections to the natural world and responsible actions to sustain it

  • TEAMS AmeriCorps program to address the critical shortage of teachers of color in Bay Area and urban schools.
    2001-2002 marked a re-accreditation year for the Teacher Education programs at USF.

University of San Francisco was accepted as an early adopter of the state’s new credentialing standards created by Senate Bill twenty-forty-two and were required to complete a self-study and assessment of our programs for compliance with the new standards. At the same time, USF received a one-year StarTEC PT3 grant award from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.


By combining the work of StarTEC with the accreditation efforts, we were given the opportunity to holistically examine course content and performance expectations for all credential candidates while envisioning the use of technology as a tool for faculty use and as the means for students to explore, learn and share their understandings. Early in the year, we began our StarTEC and accreditation journey with the decision to convert our paper portfolio assessements to an electronic format. These “e-portfolios” were envisioned to become the vehicle for collecting exhibits of candidate work while assessing teacher candidate performance in light of the state standards

To this end, faculty embarked on developing e-portfolios of their own teaching and learning to use as models for candidate expectations. Workshops were designed to focus on faculty needs for learning to infuse technology into their classroom practice and to create exhibits to be used to support the documentation needed for our CTC accreditation.
Through Apple Professional Development services, we offered on campus workshops for full time faculty and at off-campus locations for part-time faculty. San Francisco Unified School District master teachers and student teaching supervisors participated with faculty in after-school workshops designed to explore the value added to teaching and learning supported by technology.

USF has embraced the state’s new teacher performance expectations and assessments. We have developed a three-tier program for our students that incrementally supports students to create their electronic portfolio. It begins with a “boot-camp” prior to the beginning of the first semester to ensure that every candidate has prerequisite skills to ensure his or her success in the portfolio process including off-campus access to computers and the Internet. A two-unit course, Teaching, Learning and Technology, was designed to support students in the first semester to use the TaskStream website to begin adding to their working portfolio – creating lesson plans connected to teaching and subject matter content standards – and reflecting upon their practice.


The StarTEC grant brought the first wireless network to the University campus through the addition of a portable laptop labs with wireless connectivity to the internet and an LCD projector. This has been a powerful tool to support instruction on our campus. By working with the campus IT department, students and faculty have been given anytime anywhere access to laptop computers, internet connectivity and virtual storage on a server. Combined with the TaskStream interface, candidates may access their e-portfolio account and save from anywhere.


As early adopters, USF has integrated the state-mandated teaching performance assessments into the electronic portfolio for students. To this end, we have instituted a policy for providing all of our student teaching supervisors with laptop computers for field review of candidates and electronic submission of performance evaluations.

In a single year, the StarTEC grant program has supported 18 professors to obtain preliminary level technology skills and 5 faculty to reach the professional level. The effect of mastering these skills is filtering by word of mouth to other programs in the School of Education and we are beginning to realize a culture change across many programs outside of teacher education. (*Insert interviews here with the lead question “How has StarTEC’s training and the electronic portfolio process affected your professional practice?” and/or “How has your school changed as a result of increased access to technology equipment and skills from StarTEC?”

Through the combined efforts of two California Commission on Teacher Credentialing programs, re-accreditation and the StarTEC PT3 grant, have served not only to bring most faculty to unprecedented levels of technology proficiency, but also to support leadership to re-envision the manner in which we deliver curriculum and assess student performances using technology. StarTEC has provided the catalyst to jump start USFs electronic portfolio policies and practices. The sustainability of efforts to integrate technology into teaching and learning appears assured with the skill development and technology provided by StarTEC in conjunction with our other Preparing Tomorrows Teachers to Use Technology Grant.