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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.

  • Jackie Franke Franke, Jackie
  • Field Experience Coordinator and Teacher Performance Assessment Coordinator 
Jackie Franke

Field Experience Coordinator and Teacher Performance Assessment 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 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. 

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
  • 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 108 B
  • (949) 214-3351
Michael Schulteis

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

Prof. Michael Schulteis has been at Concordia University since 2003 teaching in the School of Education specializing in Science and Mathematics education as well as classroom management. His most recent interest is in taking students and teachers abroad to learn about educational opportunities in Asia having led trips to Australia, China, Hong Kong (SAR), and Vietnam. He currently serves as the Director of the Masters In Education (MEd) and Co-Director of Undergraduate Teacher Education Programs. Prior to arriving at Concordia University, he taught at the Junior High School level as a 7th-grade homeroom teacher teaching multiple subjects and as a science specialist for grades 6-8. At the High School level, Michael taught chemistry, biology, and honors biology as well as being a coach and the taxidermy club advisor. Most recently he taught Grade 8 Science for a year at Concordia International School in Shanghai, China along with his wife who taught Grade 5. Dr. Schulteis earned his Bachelor of Arts degree (Biology) in 1995, California Teaching Credential in 1996 and his Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction in 1998 all from Concordia University, Irvine. In 2005 he earned his Doctor of Science Education degree from Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia. His dissertation thesis was "The Condition and Effects of Evolutionary Education in the Parochial School." Beyond his teaching duties, Prof. Schulteis serves as a Faculty Marshal at the University. Dr. Schulteis is a mentor for the American Meteorological Society Datastreme program. He is also a sought after seminar presenter and has made presentations to teachers across the United States, as well as from around the world including teachers from Korea, Japan, China, South Africa, and Australia.

Dr. Schulteis is married and his wife also teaches at Concordia and is in the Mathematics Department. They have 2 boys. He enjoys travel, gardening, Disney, and fishing. He has the distinction of having visited every Disney Park in the world.


  • 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

  • Science Education
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Action Research
  • Lutheran Education
  • International Teaching
  • Rebecca Stanton Stanton, Rebecca
  • Co-Director of Undergraduate Teacher Education Programs
    Senior Director of Teacher Credential Programs
Rebecca Stanton

Co-Director of Undergraduate Teacher Education Programs
Senior Director of 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 EdD dissertations. 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
  • 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

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