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Middle Level Program

When people introduce themselves as middle school teachers, they often receive one of two responses:  Thank you! Or Why?! At the Middle Level Education Program add a third response: How lucky you are! 

Middle school teachers say that they love the humor and “the daily expressed thanks” they receive. They also appreciate middle school students’ “limitless perspective,” “intelligent thoughts and goofy attitude,” and “their tenacity to problem solve.” Faculty in the program agree! If you are interested in teaching middle school, this is the program for you. 

The Middle Level program prepares teachers teach in middle schools working with young adolescents in grades 5-9. Upon completion of all tests and other requirements, graduates of the program may hold a Multiple-Subject Credential and a Single-Subject Credential with Authorization to Teach English Learners. 

Coursework is taught at a middle school site with class sessions and assignments geared to the particular needs of young adolescent learners. Field experiences are planned and coordinated with partner middle schools.


  • First Semester
    • EDMI 511 Middle Level Teaching and Learning I
    • EDMI 521 Middle Level Literacy I
    • EDMI 543 Middle Level Mathematics Education
    • EDMI 555 Middle Level Multilingual Education
    • EDMI 571 Clinical Practice in Middle Schools I*
  • Second Semester
    • EDMI 512 Middle Level Teaching and Learning II
    • EDMI 522 Middle Level Literacy II
    • EDMI 544 Middle Level Social Studies Education
    • EDMI 545 Middle Level Science Education
    • EDMI 572 Clinical Practice in Middle Schools II*
  • Additional Courses Required For Bilingual Authorization: Spanish Emphasis ONLY


    Students seeking the Bilingual Authorization along with their credential must take the following classes in addition to the classes listed above:

    First Semester

    • EDUC 653 Biliteracy Education I: Contexts for Learning Syllabus

    Second Semester

    • EDUC 654 Biliteracy Education II: Methodology and Cultural Contexts

    *Students seeking the Bilingual Authorization along with their credential are also required to take the following class in place of either EDMI 571, EDMI 572, or both:

    • EDMI 573 Clinical Practice in Middle Level Bilingual/ELD Settings


  • Erika Daniels


    Erika Daniels is a Professor in Literacy Education, received her doctorate in Literacy from a joint program between the University of San Diego and San Diego State University Joint Doctoral Program. She teaches Literacy courses in the teacher credential program and advanced Literacy in the Masters program while also co-coordinating the Middle Level Education program. Her other professional role is as the Director for the Alliance to Accelerate Excellence in Education. The Alliance is a regional collaboration between CSUSM, community colleges, and K-12 school districts that focuses on a comprehensive and comprehensible pathway to college access and success. Before coming the CSUSM as a full-time faculty member, Erika taught kindergarten and middle school in East Los Angeles and middle school in Oceanside, CA. Erika's research interests are twofold and explore literacy practices for reluctant and disengaged learners and as well as how the context of schooling fosters or hinders the motivation of young adolescents.

  • Dr. Rong-Ji Chen


    Dr. Rong-Ji Chen is a Professor of Mathematics Education in the School of Education at CSUSM. He earned his Ph.D. degree in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a focus on mathematics, science, and technology education. At CSUSM, Dr. Chen teaches K-8 mathematics methods courses in the Multiple Subject, Integrated Credential, and Middle Level programs. He also teaches an introductory educational technology course. His research interests pertain to teachers’ perceptions about the nature of mathematics and how they see themselves as learners of mathematics. He is also interested in technology integration in mathematics education and teacher education, especially with respect to a critical theory of technology.

  • Dr. Moses K. Ochanji


    Dr. Moses K. Ochanji is a Professor of Science Education at California State University San Marcos. He teaches science education and general courses in the teacher credential and the Master of Arts in Education Programs. His research interest focuses on the “multiple phases of inquiry” in science classrooms and issues dealing with science teacher education. He has a wide experience in classroom science teaching having taught high school physics and mathematics in Kenya and in New York State for several years. He was a visiting lecturer on sabbatical leave at the Department of Educational Communication and Technology at Kenyatta University, Kenya, where he taught and collaborated with the department’s faculty on research projects focusing on building through quality teacher preparation and issues relating to teaching in large classes. Dr. Moses Ochanji received his undergraduate degree in Physics and Education, and masters degree in Science Education from Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya. He holds a Ph.D. in Science Education from Syracuse University in New York.

  • Laurie Stowell

    Laurie Stowell

    Laurie Stowell has been a professor of literacy at California State University San Marcos since 1992. She received her Ph.D. at The Ohio State University in language, literature and reading. Prior to that, she taught middle school for eleven years in Columbus, Ohio. She teaches literacy courses in the middle level and elementary credential program, children's literature, as well as writing and assessment courses in the master’s program. In 2001, Dr Stowell also founded and directs the San Marcos Writing Project. Her research interests include writing, children’s and adolescent literature, and middle level literacy. Publications include practitioner’s journals, teacher education journals, a co-authored book and book chapters for practicing teachers and she has presented at numerous state and national conferences. She has also worked with elementary, middle and high school teachers in San Diego and Riverside County to plan and implement reading strategies and the teaching of writing. She was selected as the Outstanding Professor of the year at Cal State San Marcos in 1997, received the CSU Wang Family Excellence Award in 2005 and the California Teachers of English Classroom Excellence Award in 2008.