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
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
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?
- Identify a faculty advisor. This must be a CSTA member in good standing.
- Complete and submit the student chapter application form.
- Promote the idea of a student chapter among faculty and students by talking with them
and distributing informational flyers.
- Elect a leadership team or officers. This must include at least one student and one faculty member.
- Develop and carry out recruitment activities and chapter-sponsored events.
- 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.
students join CSTA in order to participate in CSTA student
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
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
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
Our campus has an NSTA student chapter. May we have a single
student chapter which has both NSTA and CSTA affiliation?
Our campus has an active student CTA chapter. May we begin
our chapter as an off-shoot of the CTA club?