My Life at CSUMB: Betsaida Rodriguez sees a teaching career on the horizon
November 27, 2023
By Mark Muckenfuss
Betsaida Rodriguez was looking for a school that offered the kind of personal attention she felt was important to a quality education. She found it at CSU Monterey Bay.
She also found a support system and resources that have allowed her to embrace her Hispanic heritage and encourage others to do the same.
“One of the reasons I chose CSUMB was because it was small,” Rodriguez said. “Compared to bigger, more established universities, there’s more of a sense of community. I feel I got to know a lot of the people in my major pretty well.”
She also got to know her instructors.
“Because of the small size of the classes, they remember you and you do get a chance to work with them one-on-one,” she said.
CSUMB is also one of a few schools offering an integrated teacher education program, where students can earn their degrees and teaching credentials simultaneously. It is also one of few schools offering bilingual authorization in those integrated programs. Rodriquez said that being able to receive financial assistance while working on her credential was also a key factor in her decision to attend CSUMB.
A fifth-year liberal studies major, with a study emphasis on bilingual education, Rodriguez plans to be an elementary school teacher and hopes to work with Spanish-speaking children.
“I want to help students keep their [bilingualism],” she said.
On campus, Rodriguez works for the MAESTROs (Making Accessible and Effective Systems for Teacher Readiness Outcomes) program, which is designed to support students working on K-12 teaching credentials. She said she enjoys helping to connect students with resources on campus. She also worked as an orientation leader last summer, primarily to improve her public speaking skills, she said.
She is impressed with the opportunities offered to students at CSUMB, from study support services to student organizations to mentorships.
“There is so much that you can get to be a part of,” she said. “There are so many things done with student success and student engagement in mind.
“If you don’t see an opportunity, make one,” she added. “There are a lot of chances to speak up and have your voice heard.”