Notre Dame de Namur University Receives Grant for Biology Teacher Preparation

California Commission on Teacher Credentialing Awards $183K; first students to start program in August 2018

For Immediate Release (2/22/2017)

Belmont, Calif.—Notre Dame de Namur University (NDNU) has received a grant of $183,536 from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing for a new four-year program that will prepare high school and middle school teachers in the biological sciences. The program is now in the planning stages and will welcome its first cohort of students in fall 2018.

“There is a critical need in California for new, qualified teachers. particularly in the sciences,” said Caryl Hodges, dean of NDNU’s School of Education and Psychology. “The new biological sciences credential program at Notre Dame de Namur University will help with this shortage. The program at NDNU is a significant cost and time saver for potential teachers because it offers the opportunity to complete both a bachelor’s degree and single subject biology credential with four years of study.”

The Biological Sciences Teacher Preparation (BSTP) Program is a collaboration among NDNU’s School of Education and Psychology, the university’s Department of Natural Sciences, and the San Mateo County Community College District.

Initially, NDNU will collaborate with one community college, Cañada College, to take advantage of the existing transfer program between the two institutions. Cañada College has a vibrant STEM Center and a MESA (Math, Engineering and Science Achievement) program, both of which will be used to attract and recruit students into the integrated pathway.

“Students can complete all four years of the program at NDNU or they can complete their first two years at community colleges,” added Dean Hodges. “The ability to transfer course credits from less expensive community colleges will help students who might not otherwise be able to afford this program. We plan to open up admission to students in other community colleges in San Mateo County as the program expands.”



Notre Dame de Namur University is a Catholic, not-for-profit, coeducational institution serving approximately 1,700 traditional-aged and adult students from diverse backgrounds. Established in 1851 by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, NDNU maintains a strong commitment to access for diverse populations, academic excellence, social justice and community engagement. The university is fully accredited and offers a rich variety of undergraduate, graduate and credential programs. The historic, 50-acre campus is located on the San Francisco Peninsula in Silicon Valley. For more information, visit



Dr. Melissa McAlexander, Chair
Natural Sciences Department
Notre Dame de Namur University
(650) 508-3440



Zack Rogow
(650) 508-3585