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California Department of Education, Special Education Division’s special project, California Services for Technical Assistance and Training (CalSTAT) is funded through a contract with the Napa County Office of Education. CalSTAT is partially funded from federal funds, State Grants #H027A080116A. Additional federal funds are provided from a federal competitively awarded State Personnel Development Grant to California (#H323A070011) provided from the U.S. Department of Education Part D of the Individuals with Disabilities Education act (IDEA). Opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the position of the U. S. Department of Education.
The TEACH California website, www.teachcalifornia.org, was established in 2004 to help in addressing the continuing teacher shortage in California. The Institutions of Higher Education (IHE) Leadership Project, funded by the California Department of Education (CDE), is focused on delivering information resources to potential teachers via the convenient interface of teachcalifornia.org.
TEACH California is part of California’s special education teacher recruitment effort, funded by the five-year State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG), offering additional information and materials to bolster teacher recruitment in all areas, particularly special education, math and science. It has been administrated by CalSTAT (California Services for Technical Assistance and Training) and operated by the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) since it was established in March, 2004. Starting in Year 4 of SPDG (July 2011 to June 2012), SCOE will take full control of the TEACH California website.
After five years of operation, the website has seen nearly 2.7 million visits, from nearly 1.5 million visitors, generating over 8.6 million page views, and continues to be a resource attracting an average of approximately 1,000 visits per day.
|Prior to SPDG||Year 1
|Visitors who made one visit||776,000||146,000||145,000||148,000||1,215,000|
|Visitors who made two visits||103,000||14,000||12,000||13,000||142,000|
|Visitors who made 3+ visits||101,000||9,000||10,000||12,000||132,000|
|Year 1 to Year 2||Year 1 to Year 3|
|Visitors who made one visit||1,000||-1%||+2,000||1%|
|Visitors who made two visits||-2||-14%||-1,000||-8%|
|Visitors who made 3+ visits||+1,000||11%||+3,000||29%|
A visit is a series of actions that begins when a visitor views the first page of the website, and ends when the visitors leaves the site. A single visit can be brief and cursory or extended and meaningful.
A visitor is someone who may visit the website one or many times. Unique visitors are tracked on a monthly basis, so an individual who visits several times over the course of the year may be counted as multiple “unique visitors.”
The TEACH California website includes a number of pages offering different content. The entry page of the website was the highest-traffic page with almost 352,253 visits so far since July 2008 (122,873 visits in Year 3), and is excluded from the chart.
The “Make and Follow Your Plan” page helps potential teachers who may be “confused by all the different teaching requirements” by helping them create a “personal plan and checklist” to obtain the necessary education, credentials, and supports to become a teacher. It also allows visitors to register, creating an account that allows them to build and revisit a personalized checklist tailored around the potential teacher and his or her individual career goals.
While visits to the main “Make and Follow Your Plan” page have been declining since Year 1 (though still nearly 11,000 in Year 3), the number of users registering for the first time has increased considerably. This coincides with an increase in the mailing of outreach materials (such as recruitment pamphlets and bookmarks) starting in December 2010 and peaking with the distribution of 11,000 bookmarks in May 2011.
As was noted on page one, the number of unique visitors accessing the TEACH California website has decreased, other measures of traffic have increased, especially the number of visitors making three or more visits in a month. New features like the “Make and Follow Your Plan” registration and checklist may be driving this trend.
|Career Changer||1,009 users||31%|
|Graduate Student||578 users||18%|
|Community College Students||472 users||14%|
|Undergraduate Student||443 users||13%|
|K-12 Student||31 users||1%|
|Administrator||15 users||< 1%|
|Single Subject (Secondary)||1,792 users||43%|
|Multiple Subject (Elementary)||1,479 users||36%|
|Education Specialist||473 users||12%|
|Pupil Personnel||157 users||4%|
|Administrative Services||90 users||2%|
|Adult Education and Career Technical Education (VocEd)||74 users||2%|
|Speech-Language Pathology Services||39 users||1%|
|Clinical Rehabilitative Services||18 users||< 1%|
Because users create checklists tailored to their unique situation, data was available on the highly detailed “pathways” of users. Of the 35 unique pathways generated, the ones most common were:
A survey greets visitors to the TEACH California website in a “pop-up” window on the “Welcome” page. The survey asks visitors eight short questions to collect demographic information and about their interest in teaching. Because many web browsers are configured to disable pop-up windows, many visitors will not have an opportunity to respond to the survey; however, collected responses may be representative.
|Over 45 Years Old||1,930 respondents||15%|
|36-45 Years Old||2,522 respondents||19%|
|25-36 Years Old||5,224 respondents||40%|
|Under 25 Years Old||3,436 respondents||26%|
|African American||1,079 respondents||8%|
|Filipino/Pacific Islander||336 respondents||3%|
|Alaskan Native/American Indian||116 respondents||1%|
|Middle Eastern||115 respondents||1%|
|Career changer with a college degree||4,588||36%|
|Out-of state teacher||1,526||12%|
|Community college student||823||6%|
|Career changer without a college degree||571||4%|
|Out-of country teacher||541||4%|
|High school student||250||2%|
|Middle school student||43||<1%|
Visitors were also asked to describe their career background. Responses indicate that many TEACH California visitors are mature professionals interested in teaching.
|Not Applicable||2,192 respondents||17%|
|Not Applicable||2,933 respondents||22%|
|Elementary Teacher||3,520 respondents||28%|
|High School Teacher||2,584 respondents||21%|
|Special Education||1,596 respondents||13%|
|Math Teacher||1,319 respondents||10%|
|Science Teacher||1,049 respondents||8%|
|Middle School Teacher||792 respondents||6%|
|Speech-Language Pathologist||96 respondents||1%|
TEACH California visitors are overwhelmingly considering becoming teachers, with 82%. (N/A responses may indicate a respondent is already teaching). 53% are already taking steps to become a teacher, leaving 25% who have not yet started. 31% of visitors indicated an explicit interest in one of TEACH California’s targeted subject areas: special education, speech-language pathology, science, or math.
As seeking new visitors to the TEACH California website is a goal, it is helpful to know how visitors are currently becoming aware of the website.
|Internet Search Engine||5,604 respondents||46%|
|College or University||1,131 respondents||9%|
|CalTeach Website||992 respondents||8%|
|CSU Website||958 respondents||8%|
|CDE Website||770 respondents||6%|
|California Teacher Preparation Program||287 respondents||3%|
TEACH California also offers a number of materials for educators and prospective teachers to order or download, with a distribution of nearly 200,000 over the first three years of the SPDG. Most of the materials are brochures, which are regularly revised to remain current, but other materials include a poster, video, and charts.
These materials are regularly shipped to college, junior college, and sometimes high school career centers. People seeking these materials, either in their capacity as an educator or as a prospective teacher, can also order physical copies delivered in the mail through an interactive form on the website, as well as download them electronically as an Adobe PDF file. There is also a video CD which can only be ordered as a physical copy, and there are also two Excel spreadsheets (xls) and one PowerPoint file (ppt) which can only be downloaded. The table below presents the distribution totals in both formats.
|Material||Year 1||Year 2||Year 3||Total|
|Become a Special Educator||7991||4655||4525||13788||2203||16259||49421|
|Steps to Become a Teacher Chart (xls)||n/a||5557||n/a||6277||n/a||1162||12996|
|Financial Aid Program Chart (xls)||n/a||0||n/a||0||n/a||821||821|
|One Child at a Time (CD)||16||n/a||293||n/a||174||n/a||483|
|TEACH California Web Site Tour (ppt)||n/a||0||n/a||0||n/a||0||0|
Web-tracking software also collected statistics on how visitors to the TEACH California website arrived, either directly or referred by another website. 60% of visits came directly to teachcalifornia.org, as when a visitors types in the url directly or accesses a bookmark. However, 126,179 visits started when a visitor clicked a link to teachcalifornia.org on another website. Those referring websites’ addresses were recorded, as this information is sometimes used to inform marketing decisions.
|Other Search Engines||11,949 referrals||10%|
|California Gov Website (ca.gov)||6,780 referrals||5%|
|College or University||6,297 referrals||5%|
|Other Education-related Org||4,337 referrals||3%|
|Other Referrers||1,199 referrals||1%|
|Domains Referring Fewer than 100 Visits||7,980 referrals||6%|
This document was developed for CalSTAT by the SPDG Evaluation Team of Cheryl “Li” Walter, PhD, and Alan Wood.
CalSTAT (California Services for Technical Assistance and Training), at Napa County Office of Education, is a special project of the California Department of Education, Special Education Division. Visit CalSTAT at http://www.calstat.org.
“California Department of Education, Special Education Division’s special project, California Services for Technical Assistance and Training (CalSTAT) is funded through a contract with the Napa County Office of Education. CalSTAT is partially funded from federal funds, State Grants #H027A080116A. Additional federal funds are provided from a federal competitively awarded State Personnel Development Grant to California (#H323A070011) provided from the U.S. Department of Education Part D of the Individuals with Disabilities Education act (IDEA).
“This project is supported by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). Opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the position of the U.S. Department of Education.”