College of Communication & Education

Rebecca Justeson Embraces New Role as Director of the School of Education

Professor Rebecca Justeson just completed her first semester as director of the School of Education.

In her role as director, Justeson facilitates the work of nearly 80 faculty and staff. She also oversees 350 student credential candidates and interns across a variety of credential programs and 200 mentor teachers who work directly with candidates in the classroom. Justeson also spends significant time interfacing with the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing to ensure that our candidates are fully prepared to enter the profession and to meet the state standards in their own classrooms.

“It’s been a whirlwind,” said Justeson about her new position. “It’s an interesting challenge learning the dynamics of a large organization.”

One of Justeson’s goals in her new role is to strengthen the School of Education’s already-strong relationships with its community partners and to support her faculty so that they can best serve their students.

It’s also one she is well prepared to engage. Indeed, her own professional background, training, and her research interests center on fostering resilience, whether that is with students in the classroom or faculty at the University. 

Since the Camp Fire, the largest wildfire in state history, Justeson has been helping teachers and future teachers in high need, under-resourced communities help kids leverage resilience that they already have. When thousands of school children were displaced by the Camp Fire, both from their homes and their schools, the School of Education’s credential candidates volunteered to help students transition into temporary classrooms. Those future teachers also provided school supplies and basic needs to try to ease the impact from the fire.

In keeping with her interest in resilience, Justeson has helped organize a day-long workshop on May 4 focusing on a trauma-informed practice for caregivers, teachers, social service providers, doctors, law enforcement, and community members on campus. This event is designed to provide support to those on the frontlines, who work with individuals who have experienced trauma, to be able to support those individuals while avoiding the stress, burnout, and compassion fatigue that can accompany this important but often challenging work.

Justeson’s 17 years as a faculty member at Chico State, plus years teaching in elementary schools, have been challenging and fulfilling. She has taught courses in literacy development and educational psychology, earning a post-doctoral master’s degree in applied positive psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, and her doctoral degree at the University of the Pacific.  She looks forward to this new chapter in her career.

school supplies for children
Teacher candidates help collect school supplies for students and teachers displaced by the Campfire.

backpack for kids
A Teacher candidate sorts through backpacks donated for children affected by the Campfire.