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CSTA Student Chapters

Community College and 4-year College/University Instructors: Support your preservice teacher candidates and encourage them to become professionally engaged by starting a CSTA Student Chapter on your campus.

Student Chapters are a way to:

  • increase participation in and awareness of CSTA by the preservice teacher community
  • reach out to university and college faculty in the support of preservice teacher development
  • provide additional support and professional development for preservice science teachers
  • create an awareness in preservice teachers of the importance of belonging to one's professional organization
  • create a network of preservice teachers at California colleges and universities

View CSTA's Current student chapters.

I’m ready! Take me to the application form.

What are student chapters?

CSTA's student chapters are separate but affiliated organizations with CSTA and are a means to connect student teachers or preservice teachers of science with each other, with resources and activities in their college or university, and with their statewide science teachers organization. Student chapters can be formed at any California college or university — two- or four-year — that prepares future teachers and/or that has a teacher credentialing program.

Why would we want to start a student chapter?

Good science teachers don't just happen; they are nurtured and supported throughout their careers. CSTA encourages participation in professional organizations by all science educators, whether they are new to the profession or are seasoned veterans. Having a CSTA Student Chapter will both provide support to new science teachers as they enter their chosen profession and instill in them a sense of professionalism and the importance of belonging to one's professional organization.

What is the benefit to my students of joining a student chapter?

Besides the introduction to professional engagement and the ongoing activities, students who are active members of their student chapter will receive discounts on their CSTA membership for the following year: Students who participate in three CSTA chapter-sponsored events per academic year will receive $5 off their next year's membership dues; students who participate in six CSTA chapter-sponsored events per academic year will receive $10 off their next year's membership dues. Students and faculty sponsors will be able to contribute articles about chapter activities to California Classroom Science (CCS), CSTA's monthly on-line publication. CCS features the "Preservice Place", a new article every month with information and tips for preservice teachers. Students may also be interested in the "New Teacher Neighborhood" which features articles of interest to new science teachers.

What kinds of activities are offered through student chapters?

Each student chapter is free to determine the types of activities to offer. Chapters typically offer many professional development activities — workshops, field experiences, job search strategies — throughout the year in support of the future science teachers enrolled in the college or university's program. Some examples would be: Workshops on pedagogical topics and ideas for conducting hands-on activities; roundtable sessions on job search strategies; meetings with scientists; volunteering at local science fairs, Science Olympiad, MESA, science open house activities; sessions at informal science centers; attending and/or volunteering at the California Science Education Conference.

How do I go about starting a student chapter?

  1. Identify a faculty advisor. This must be a CSTA member in good standing.
  2. Complete and submit the application form. .
  3. Promote the idea of a student chapter among faculty and students by talking with them and distributing informational flyers.
  4. Elect a leadership team or officers. This must include at least one student and one faculty member.
  5. Develop and carry out recruitment activities and chapter-sponsored events.
  6. Submit an annual report to CSTA each spring. The report should include:
    • a listing of the leadership team
    • an attendance roster of chapter-sponsored events and activities
    • a brief description of chapter activities during the year.

Must students pay dues to belong to the student chapter?

Chapters are not required to charge dues but may do so at their discretion. Chapters may need some financial support for advertising, supplies, and snacks; dues, departmental monies, or grants may help support these activities.

What are the benefits to me of starting a student chapter?

Although there is no financial benefit to a faculty member for starting or sponsoring a student chapter, faculty advisors elect to start student chapters in order to better support their future K-12 science teachers. Chapters will receive e-mail notice when the newest issue of California Classroom Science (CCS) is available, be able to contribute articles about chapter activities to CCS, receive discounted membership fees, and be affiliated with the preservice efforts of CSTA.

My university already has a student science club. Why should we start a CSTA student chapter?

If your college or university has a science club, you are already halfway to establishing it as a CSTA student chapter. You should consider the benefits of affiliating the club with CSTA, including:

  • reduced CSTA membership fee for student members
  • reduced or no registration fee for student members attending CSTA's California Science Education Conference
  • the possibility of receiving additional reductions in membership fee for students participating in chapter activities (see the membership schedule below).
  • student chapter links on the CSTA website.

Must students join CSTA in order to participate in CSTA student chapter activities?

Students do not have to join CSTA in order to participate in chapter activities; however, students who do join CSTA receive discounted membership fees for as long as they are students and receive discounted or no registration fee for the California Science Education Conference.

What is the membership fee for student who decide to join CSTA?

Students enrolled in preservice or teacher education programs at a California university or college can join CSTA for $25/year, for as long as they remain students. There are two levels of student membership:
Magna Level status requires students to participate in three CSTA chapter-sponsored events per academic year; students at the Magna Level receive a $5 coupon for their next year's membership dues.
Summa Level status requires students to participate in six CSTA chapter-sponsored events per academic year; students at the Summa Level receive a $10 coupon for their next year's membership dues.

Our campus has an NSTA student chapter. May we have a single student chapter which has both NSTA and CSTA affiliation?

Yes.

Our campus has an active student CTA chapter. May we begin our chapter as an off-shoot of the CTA club?

Yes.