A UCI undergrad pursuing a chemistry degree and a teaching credential through the School of Education's CalTeach program checks student work on chemical balances at Santa Ana's Godinez Fundamental High School. Michelle S. Kim / UCI

In a newly released study of 800 colleges, UCI’s School of Education was one of only 35 programs recognized for ensuring that future high school teachers effectively master their chosen specialty. The National Council on Teacher Quality analysis was accompanied by a survey that found 32 percent of high school students doubted their teachers’ knowledge of classroom subject matter. A teacher’s topic mastery is “directly correlated with how effectively they communicate subjects to students,” according to a news release issued jointly by NCTQ and YouthTruth, which surveyed 130,000 high school students about their classroom perceptions. “Content mastery is critical to effective teaching,” said Mark Warschauer, interim dean of UCI’s School of Education. “For that reason, our CalTeach program combines teacher education courses and fieldwork with a rigorous four-year bachelor’s degree in science or mathematics.” The school was specifically recognized for its admissions selectivity and preparation of future math and science teachers.