Why I Chose the IMPACT Program

Choosing a credential program is no small task. Especially if you’re like me, a huge

planner who has to know exactly what they are getting themselves into. I remember still being at

Delta College meticulously researching pathways to becoming a teacher, the whole thing

seeming so overwhelming and unattainable for me– a single mother, who was receiving

government assistance, and just in the infancy of my college career. When you’ve decided “hey,

I think maybe I’m supposed to be a teacher” but you’re also only 18 credits into your A.A., the

education required to become a teacher really did seem like something beyond me. I knew that

in addition to finishing my A.A. as well as B.A. I would have to go through an additional year of

schooling to get my credential. The most prevalent method has always been student teaching,

and I just didn’t know how I could support my son and myself while doing unpaid student

teaching. However, I’m the kind of person that knows nothing is impossible, you just have to find

the way. That’s when I started researching all the different ways a person could become a

credentialed teacher in California, and I happened to stumble upon the Teacher’s College


I kept gravitating back to their website every time I researched my future profession. By

the time I was ready to graduate with my BA, it wasn’t even a question for me where I would

end up. I always knew I could never afford student teaching, and the IMPACT program offered a

2 year intern pathway. The monthly payments were very affordable, and I even applied for and

received a local grant that paid for a healthy portion of my tuition. Compared to other private

institutions, TCSJ unit rates are extremely affordable, and they offer flexible payment options

that worked for me. TCSJ partnered with my county and district to deduct the payments directly

from my paycheck, which was very helpful. I ended up paying off my program in one year!

Even though there are quite a few different institutions that one can earn a preliminary

credential through the intern pathway, I always knew I wanted to go to TCSJ. TCSJ offers

something that other major institutions just don't have, and that’s institutionalized intimacy. TCSJ

utilizes a cohort model, which allows students to develop deep and lasting relationships with

fellow cohort members. We learn and grow from and with each other. TCSJ professors are also

extremely warm and welcoming, and they truly celebrate the success of their students. They are

always approachable and understanding of the lives of their students, and are always willing to

work with and accommodate in order for them to be successful. They are so invested in their

students because they’re from the same communities as them. It’s definitely not unusual to work

at the same site or district as one of your instructors!

Speaking of the amazing faculty of TCSJ, Teachers’ College is composed of educators

that are actually in the classroom. When you learn at TCSJ, you are given invaluable wisdom

from amazing educators who are using the practices they preach. It’s not just theoretical

discussion, it's actualization. I’m able to apply what I’ve learned in class one evening the very

next day, and report back and ask for feedback or advice all in the span of one week. It’s


If you’ve been considering making the leap to a career in education and have been

considering the intern model as a route to obtain your credential, I promise you, you will not

regret the decision to attend Teachers College of San Joaquin.