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Director of Lutheran Teaching Program, Colloquy and Placement; Associate Professor of Education

Dr. Cari Chittick is the Director of Lutheran Teaching Programs, Colloquy, and Placement and an Associate Professor of Education at Concordia University, Irvine. She has a passion for the ministry of Lutheran schools and for encouraging professional growth of future educators in their ministering to children with varying abilities; to enhance students’ academic potential, while nurturing their faith.

Prior to joining CUI, Dr. Chittick was the Director of Special Education at Concordia University Texas where she began the major and developed the program to equip future educators to support exceptional learners in all classroom settings. She has also developed elementary resource programs in two Lutheran schools.

In her spare time, Dr. Chittick enjoys exploring God’s creation and serving God through service and mission trips around the world.

Jackie Franke

Field Experience/TPA Coordinator

Professor Franke places students in local schools for their two required field experiences, typically in their junior year (20 hours) and at the end of their academic program (40 hours). Teacher Performance Assessments happen in conjunction with the field experiences.

Professor Jackie Franke has been in the field of education for 24 years since she moved from Olathe, Kansas to Mission Viejo, CA with her husband and three children. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Speech Pathology and Audiology from Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas.

Professor Franke has been with Concordia’s Teacher Credential Program in the School of Education for five years and wears a couple of different hats. As TPA Coordinator, Professor Franke oversees all aspects of the California Teacher Performance Assessment, a state requirement for all teacher candidates to earn their preliminary credential. Professor Franke is also the Field Experience Coordinator and she places all teacher candidates in their two early field experiences. One of the joys of this position is visiting principals and teachers. During these visits, Professor Franke receives positive feedback on how well CUI candidates are prepared which in turn encourages partnerships with local schools and districts to mentor our teacher candidates.

Teresa Hess

Director of Student Teaching and Induction; Assistant Professor of Education

Dr. Hess guides students through the process to become a teacher from student teacher placement to a Clear Credential.

Dr. Teresa Hess leads the student teaching program, which is the final requirement before filing for a Preliminary credential. Additionally, she oversees the Induction Program where employed teachers may clear their credential with the state of California.

Dr. Hess holds a Ph.D. in Education, with an emphasis in Disability Studies, from Chapman University in Orange, CA, a Master of Science Degree from California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, CA, and received her Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, CA. In addition to her work at the university level, Dr. Hess has over 30 years of elementary teaching experience in both general and special education classrooms.

Teaching Credentials and Certificates

  • Ryan Multiple Subject Teaching Credential
  • Learning Handicapped Credential
  • Resource Specialist Credential
  • Cross Cultural Language and Academic Development Certificate (CLAD)
  • Autism Authorization Certificate
Lori Jaeger

Assistant Professor of Education
Director of Induction


Lori Jaeger is an assistant professor in the School of Education, serving in the credentialing program. Prior to joining the Concordia faculty, Lori spent thirty years teaching in elementary school classrooms. Lori has experiences with planning and assessment, implementing innovative teaching methods and developing curriculum. Lori is committed to the teaching profession and cultivating lifelong learners.

In 1986, Lori began her teaching career in an urban setting, serving at First Lutheran, Long Beach as a second grade teacher, athletic director and coach. Lori was called to Bethany Lutheran, Long Beach in 1989, where she taught third grade, researched assessment and mentored new teachers. In 2000, Lori accepted a new call to St. John’s, Orange and taught fourth grade for sixteen years. Lori served as department chair for the intermediate grade levels, where her responsibilities included curriculum mapping, assessment of student learning and continuous curriculum reviews. In addition, Lori has trained student teachers, served as an adjunct professor and assessed documents in the credential program.


  • M.A., Curriculum and Instruction, Concordia University, Irvine, CA
  • B.A., Education, Concordia College, River Forest, IL

Areas of Expertise:

  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Planning and Assessment
  • Instructional Strategies
  • Curriculum Mapping
  • Classroom Management
Sara Morgan

Assistant Professor of Special Education Credentials


Sara Morgan is a graduate of Chapman University, where she earned a B.A. in Communications. After graduation, she continued on to receive two teaching credentials (Multiple Subject and Education Specialist) and a Master's Degree in Special Education. She taught, as a resource teacher, for Lutheran Special Education Ministries, a special day class teacher, for the Westminster School District, and served as a Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) and Program Specialist, for the Garden Grove Unified School District.

Sara is pursuing advanced education in Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) and continuously strives to sharpen her teaching practices to model universally designed learning experiences.


  • B.A.: 1999, Chapman University, Communications: Speech Communications
  • MAED.: 2003, Chapman University, Special Education


  • Introduction to teaching Diverse Populations
  • Typical and Atypical Development of Diverse Populations
  • Advanced Curriculum Methods for Teaching Special Populations
  • Coping with Stress and Violence in Today's Diverse Classroom
Charlie Rodrigues

Assistant Professor of Education


Prior to his full time faculty appointment, Charlie Rodrigues most recently served Concordia University Irvine as Assistant Registrar in addition to his adjunct faculty role in the M.A. Education program. His doctoral research is investigating the effectiveness of the onboarding process for incoming full and part time university faculty. As a proud alum of Concordia for both undergraduate and graduate degrees, he also spent 10 years as an educator in public and Lutheran schools. His breadth of experience will serve him well as he will be teaching in the M.A. Education and teacher credential programs. Charlie and his wife Melissa – also an educator – are raising two active boys (ages 6 and 2) and attend Bethany Lutheran Church in Long Beach. They enjoy spending time with extended family, reading, and traveling.

Professor of Science Education; Co-Director of Undergraduate Teacher Credential Programs; Director of MEd

Michael Schulteis


Dr. Michael Schulteis has been a full-time faculty member in the School of Education since 2003 specializing in science and math education, teaching instructional methods, classroom management and research methods courses, and supervising graduate research projects. His educational research has focused on evolution education in parochial schools.

Dr. Schulteis is currently a mentor for the American Meteorological Society Datastreme program. He also conducts seminars and makes presentations to educators across the United States and from Korea, Japan, China, South Africa, and Australia on such topics as instructional methods and evolution education. Prior to arriving at Concordia University, Dr. Schulteis taught multiple subjects at the junior high and senior high school levels.


  • Sc.Ed.D., Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia
  • M.A.Ed., Curriculum and Instruction, Concordia University, Irvine
  • B.A., Biology: Pre-Med, Concordia University, Irvine

Areas of Expertise

  • Curriculum
  • Instructional Strategies
  • Common Core Standards
  • School Climate
  • Assessment of Programs and Student Learning
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Statistics
  • Qualitative Methods

Assistant Professor of Educational Technology

Tim Schumacher


Prof. Schumacher is a Lutheran educator and technology integration specialist. The Minnesota-South District of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS), honored Tim as the Educator of the Year in 2003 as he was cited for his accomplishments as a classroom teacher, staff leader, and innovative educational technologist. He has had successful experiences leading and teaching at nearly every level of Lutheran education from elementary to secondary to university. Tim also has served as the director of adult ministry in a Lutheran congregation, and has been a consultant and presenter in a variety of educational settings. Prior to arriving at Concordia Irvine in 2012, Tim had taught for 4 years at a K-12 Lutheran school in Western Australia.

Degrees Earned

  • M.A. in Educational Technology - Pepperdine University (2001)
  • B.A. in Elementary Education - Concordia College, River Forest (1987)

Dean, School of Education


Dr. Kent Schlichtemeier is a teacher. He started his teaching career in 1978 teaching 6th-8th grades in Oxnard, CA. After completing his Master’s degree at Denver University in 1984, he continued his teaching career at the high school level in Orlando, FL. Dr. Schlichtemeier served in the School of Education at Concordia University, Irvine from 1988-2003 where he mentored future teachers. In addition to teaching at Concordia, Dr. Schlichtemeier was the women’s basketball coach until retiring in 1993 to pursue his doctorate degree. During the final two seasons of his tenure as coach, the Lady Eagle Basketball team made two consecutive appearances at the NAIA National Basketball Tournament after winning the Golden State Athletic Conference Championships. Dr. Schlichtemeier was voted the District Three NAIA Coach of the Year in 1992 and 1993 and was voted into the Concordia Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006. Dr. Schlichtemeier has served as a teacher and assistant principal at Orange Lutheran High School from 2003-2007, before returning to teach at Concordia University. He enjoys frequent opportunities to speak at sports banquets, school graduations, athletic camps, teacher conferences, and leadership retreats.

Degrees Earned

  • Ed.D., Educational Leadership, University of California, Los Angeles
  • M.A., Denver University
  • B.A., Concordia Teachers College, Seward, NE

Areas of Expertise

  • Instructional Leadership
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Assessment
  • Organizational Culture
  • School Climate
  • Instructional Leadership
  • Action Research
Doctor Rebecca Stanton

Co-Director of Undergraduate Teacher Education Programs
Director Preliminary Teacher Credential Programs

Dr. Stanton teaches EDU 101, the first class all Liberal Studies majors will take; serves as an advisor to Liberal Studies majors; and interviews students for admission into the SOE Credential program.

Dr. Rebecca Stanton has been teaching in the School of Education at CUI since 2005, specializing in secondary teaching methods, classroom management, and differentiated instruction. Beyond her teaching duties, she supervises student teachers and guides students as they write their Masters capstone projects. As a university supervisor of student teachers and as a parent volunteer, she has spent innumerable hours in K-12 classrooms. Her sons' special needs have inspired her interest in how the brain learns and how to set up positive, inclusive learning environments. She presents on various teaching strategies at local, regional, and national conferences.

Prior to coming to Concordia University, Dr. Stanton taught German at the university and junior college levels. She also taught German and beginning drama for 9 years at the high school level, and math and science for one year at the junior high school level. She enjoyed taking students on educational trips to Europe and New York City.


  • EdD, Instructional Leadership, Argosy University, Orange County
  • MA, German Literature, University of California, Irvine
  • Teaching Credential, Single Subject (German, Literature), Concordia University Irvine
  • BA, German major, Russian minor, University of Arizona

Areas of Expertise

  • Teaching methods, including Differentiated Instruction and foreign language methods
  • Mentoring new teachers
  • Classroom Management
  • Creative learning spaces and activities

Assistant Dean, School of Education

Heather Vezner


Professor Heather Vezner first came to Concordia in 2009 as the Field Experience Coordinator and TPA Assistant Coordinator. From 2011-2015 she served as Director of Student Teaching and has most recently become Director of Preliminary Teacher Credential Programs.

Prior to coming to Concordia, Professor Vezner was an early childhood educator and administrator, an elementary teacher, and a parent educator for a grant-funded early education program. Professor Vezner has presented at numerous conferences on topics such as literacy development, creative dramatics, music and movement, and early childhood curriculum.


  • California Multiple Subject Clear Teaching Credential, 2009
  • Illinois Early Childhood Teaching Credential, 2007
  • M.A. - Early Childhood Education, Concordia University, Chicago, 1996
  • B.A. - Elementary Education, Concordia University, Chicago, 1993
  • Illinois Elementary Education Teaching Credential, 1993


Debra Fregin

Department Assistant, School of Education
Assistant Credential Analyst

Randee Haney

Lead Credential Analyst/Credential Program Advisor

Randee Haney serves as the Lead Credential Analyst/Credential Program Advisor at Concordia starting in 2019. She is the liaison between the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) and the university in all CA Teacher credentialing, Educational Administration credentialing, and CA certificate programs. She also serves as academic credential advisor to all Preliminary Teacher Credential post-baccalaureate candidates and Induction candidates; undergraduate credential students; and transition students planning to complete the credentialing program as a post-baccalaureate student.

Randee has served college students for more than 15 years with the last 9 years as a Credential Analyst. Her previous professional experience was in student life and academic affairs. She is excited to support and encourage Concordia students as they achieve their educational goals.


  • M.A. – Student Personnel Administration in Higher Education, New York University, 2005
  • B.A. – Sociology, minor in Counseling, San Francisco State University, 2003
  • A.A. – Liberal Studies, Fullerton College, 2000
Kathy Mueller

HR Specialist/Office Manager/Administrative Assistant to the Dean

Kristen Pic - Small

Graduate & Adult Admissions Counselor (Teacher Credential, Combined Credential & M.Ed)

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