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One strength of the Liberal Studies major is its diverse subject matter. Here at Concordia, you will interact with professors from a wide variety of educational and professional backgrounds. Their knowledge and experience provide Liberal Studies students a unique point of view.

In addition to the professors who will be teaching your classes, there are also several key faculty/staff members who will be instrumental in guiding you on your journey to becoming a teacher.

Director of Lutheran Teaching Program | Associate Professor of Education


Dr. Cari Chittick is the Director of Lutheran Teaching Programs and LCMS Placement and an Associate Professor in the School of Education and Christ College 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 Concordia University Irvine, 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.

  • Robin Gomes Gomes, Robin
  • Assistant Professor, School of Education
  • M.A.Ed, Curriculum and Instruction, Concordia University- Irvine
  • Beta 207E
  • (949) 214-3342
Kellie Albrecht

Assistant Professor of Education


Robin Gomes has been serving in Lutheran education for over 20 years. Before serving at Concordia University, Robin worked as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal in Lutheran elementary schools in Nevada and California. Throughout that time, Robin led in the areas of teacher recruitment and retention, curriculum and assessment, and school consultancy in the Pacific Southwest District.

Robin is married to Domingo, a middle school teacher who she met as a student at Concordia University. They have two college-age children. Their pastimes include musical theater, going to Disneyland, enjoying the beach, and baseball.


  • M.A.Ed, Curriculum and Instruction, Concordia University- Irvine, 2007
  • California Multiple Subject Clear Teaching Credential, 2000
  • B.A., Behavioral Science: Anthropology, Concordia University- Irvine, 1999
  • Teresa Hess Hess, Teresa
  • Assistant Professor of Education
  • Beta 206 B
  • 949-214-3599
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. 

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
  • Jaeger, Lori Jaeger, Lori
  • Assistant Professor of Education, Director of Induction
  • Beta 109 A
  • (949) 214-3542

Assistant Professor of Education, Director of Induction


Dr. Lori Jaeger serves as the Director of Induction and as an Assistant Professor in the School
of Education. Prior to joining the Concordia faculty in 2016, Dr. Jaeger spent thirty years
teaching in elementary school classrooms with experiences in planning and assessment,
implementing innovative teaching methods and developing curriculum. Dr. Jaeger is
committed to the teaching profession and cultivating lifelong learners.

In 1986, Dr. Jaeger began her teaching career in an urban setting, serving at First Lutheran,
Long Beach as a second grade teacher, athletic director and coach. Dr. Jaeger was called to
Bethany Lutheran, Long Beach in 1989, where she taught third grade, researched assessment
and mentored new teachers. In 2000, Dr. Jaeger accepted a new call to St. John’s Lutheran,
Orange and taught fourth grade for sixteen years. There she served as department chair for
the intermediate grade levels, where her responsibilities included curriculum mapping,
assessment of student learning and continuous curriculum reviews. Dr. Jaeger continues to
train preservice teachers, provide professional development and implement strategies for the
CalTPA teacher candidates.


  • 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
  • Morgan, Sara Morgan, Sara
  • Assistant Professor of Special Education Credentials
  • Beta 109 B
  • (949) 214-3537

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
  • Rodrigues, Charlie Rodrigues, Charlie
  • Coordinator, MOUs & Faculty Onboarding
  • Beta 109 E
  • (949) 214-3087
Rodrigues, Charlie

Coordinator, MOUs & Faculty Onboarding


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.

  • Michael Schulteis Schulteis, Michael
  • Co-Director of Undergraduate Teacher Credential Programs | Director of M.Ed. | Professor of Science Education
  • ScEdD, Doctor of Science Education, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia
  • Beta 203 D
  • (949) 214-3351
Michael Schulteis

Professor of Science Education | Co-Director of Undergraduate Teacher Credential Programs | Director of M.Ed. | Professor of Science Education

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.


  • ScEdD, Doctor of Science Education, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia
  • M.A., Curriculum and Instruction, Concordia University Irvine
  • B.A., Biology, Concordia University Irvine

Areas of Expertise

  • Curriculum
  • Instructional Strategies
  • Common Core Standards
  • School Climate
  • Assessment of Programs and Student Learning
  • Statistics
  • Qualitative Methods
  • Science Education
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Action Research
  • Lutheran Education
  • International Teaching
  • Stanton, Rebecca Stanton, Rebecca
  • Co-Director of Undergraduate Teacher Education Programs, Director Preliminary Teacher Credential Programs
  • Beta 108 E
  • (949) 214-3345
Stanton, Rebecca

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
  • Yvette Stuewe Stuewe, Yvette
  • Assistant Professor of Education
  • EdD Candidate: Instructional Technology and Distance Education, Nova Southeastern University
  • Beta 203 A
Yvette Stuewe

Assistant Professor of Education

Assistant Professor Yvette Stuewe teaches courses in the MA and Teacher Credential programs. Professor Stuewe has served in Lutheran education for 28 years. Her educational experience spans across St. John’s Lutheran School, Orange Lutheran High School, and Concordia University Irvine. In addition to 27 years of classroom experience, Professor Stuewe served in various leadership roles including Curriculum Leadership Chair, Induction mentor, Induction Assistant Lead Mentor for the Orange County Department of Education Private School Cohort, Conference Presenter, President of the Lutheran Educators Conference Committee, Director of Curriculum, WASC Visiting Team Member, and Associate Director of Orange Lutheran Online. In February of 2023, she presented at the national Digital Learning Annual Conference (DLAC) in Austin, Texas.

Professor Stuewe was part of a team that piloted a one-to-one middle school laptop program, and she taught in a one-to-one setting for fourteen years, gaining experience with many different learning platforms and digital tools. She is a National Board Certified Teacher. She truly sees teaching as an art and values reflective teaching practices. Not only does she find passion in crafting effective lessons and building relationships with students, she also finds great value in collaborating with other educators. Professor Stuewe is currently working towards a doctorate in Instructional Technology and Distance Education from Nova Southeastern University.


  • EdD Candidate: Instructional Technology and Distance Education, Nova Southeastern University
  • M.A. Curriculum and Instruction,Concordia University Irvine
  • Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, Concordia University Irvine
  • B.S. Bachelor of Science, History, University of California, Santa Barbara

Areas of Expertise

  • Instructional Design
  • Planning and Assessment
  • Instructional Technology
  • Online and Distance Learning
  • Reflective Teaching Practices
  • Vezner, Heather Vezner, Heather
  • Dean, School of Education | Assistant Professor of Education
  • Beta 107 D
  • (949) 214-3352
Vezner, Heather

Dean, School of Education | Assistant Professor of Education


Dr. Heather Vezner first began her teaching career in 1993 as an early childhood teacher. She has now served as an educator for 30 years. Her experiences include being an early childhood and elementary education teacher, early childhood program administrator, and parent educator for a grant-funded early education program. She first came to Concordia University Irvine in 2009 as the Field Experience Coordinator and CalTPA Assistant Coordinator. She has also served as Director of Student Teaching, Director of Preliminary Teacher Credential Programs, Assistant Dean, and currently serves as Dean of the School of Education. Her areas of research and expertise include early childhood education, literacy development, mentoring, teacher preparation, and leadership development.  Thanks be to God for the opportunity to serve and support students in their calling to become educational leaders who make a positive impact in our school communities.

Teaching Credentials and Certificates

  • Ed.D. - Organizational Leadership, Northeastern University, Boston, 2022
  • California Multiple Subject Clear Teaching Credential, 2009
  • Illinois Early Childhood Teaching Credential, 2007
  • M.A. - Early Childhood Education, Concordia University, Chicago, 1996
  • Illinois Elementary Education Teaching Credential, 1993
  • B.A. - Elementary Education, Concordia University, Chicago, 1993


Department Assistant


Nick is the Department Assistant in the School of Education, primarily working with the Teacher Credential Program. He is very excited to be a part of the Concordia University team. He has always had a heart for education and has even taken the introductory steps in pursuing a multiple subject teaching credential. Nick grew up in Orange County and enjoys spending time with his family and friends. He is passionate about education and is looking forward to assisting students as they continue their pursuit to transform lives and positively impact their local and global communities.

Jackie Franke

Field Experience/TPA Coordinator

Mrs. 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.

Jackie Franke has been in the field of education for 31 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. In 2007 she attended Concordia University Irvine to complete her Multiple Subject Credential and Masters of Education.

Mrs. Franke has been with Concordia’s Teacher Credential Program in the School of Education for 12 years and wears a couple of different hats.  As TPA Coordinator, Mrs. Franke oversees all aspects of the California Teacher Performance Assessment, a state requirement for all teacher candidates to earn their preliminary credential. She is also the Field Experience Coordinator and 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, Mrs. Franke receives positive feedback on how well Concordia University Irvine candidates are prepared, which in turn encourages partnerships with local schools and districts to mentor our teacher candidates.

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