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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
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


Department Assistant

Erika Lyerly


Erika Lyerly serves as the Department Assistant for the School of Education. Prior to her arrival at Concordia University, Erika was a Project Manager and held various leadership roles in the corporate sector. Her faith and her passion for education brought her to Concordia. Having grown up in Santa Ana, CA, she experienced first-hand the positive impact teachers can have in the lives of students, especially in underserved communities. As a first-generation college graduate, and daughter of immigrants, she brings a unique perspective to the School of Education. Erika enjoys serving her church and her community, traveling, and spending time outdoors with her family.


  • B.A. in Sociology from California State University, San Marcos

Administrative Assistant to the Dean/HR Specialist

Alyssa Flores

Academic Advisor/Credential Analyst

Sara Franko


Sara Franko serves as the Graduate Advisor and Credential Analyst for the Teacher Credential Program for the School of Education. Sara’s career in education began in 2003 when she began teaching high school social science at a large, urban high school in Los Angeles. In 2007, her career moved her to Orange County where she continued teaching social science at the high school level, as well as served as department chair, subject matter specialist, PBIS lead teacher, and head cheer coach. Sara’s passion for continuing education grew as a professional leader on site and at the district level and especially as a mentor to those new to the profession. Being the first in her family to graduate from college, she understands the value of education and being a life-long learner.

Sara has made her home in Orange County where she lives with her two daughters. She enjoys spending time with her family and continuing to serve as an educator and as a mentor for all young people. She looks forward to sharing her journey with the community at Concordia University Irvine.


  • M.A. in Teaching with a focus in Secondary Education (2004)
  • California Single Subject Clear Credential in Social Science (2003)
  • California Single Subject Clear Credential in Social Science (2003)
Taylor Touchstone

Graduate Admissions Counselor


Taylor has joined the School of Education and Admission department as an admissions counselor for the Masters of Coaching and Athletic Administration. She hails to Irvine from Bakersfield, California. When she was a senior in high school she toured Concordia University and fell in love with the atmosphere, environment and overall campus life. She was a four year Eagle athlete as a member of the Concordia tennis team from 2014 To 2018. She is family oriented and enjoys spending time with her parents, Tom and Tiffany, as well as her sister, Tessa. Taylor is a double alumni, in 2018 she received her bachelor’s degree in Exercise Sports Science and in 2019 she earned her Master of Science degree in Exercise Sports Science and Coaching. I am very excited to be a part of the MCAA team at Concordia University, Irvine.

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