Brandman University and CUSD Announce Partnership

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Brandman University and Capistrano Unified School District partner to enhance online and virtual learning.

Brandman University, a part of the Chapman University System, today announced a new partnership with the Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD) to enhance the online and virtual learning of California Preparatory Academy and Capistrano Virtual School (CVS) students. The University partnership was unanimously approved by the CUSD Board of Trustees at its January 23 meeting.

The new partnership addresses several goals outlined in CUSD’s strategic plan including strengthening community partnerships, aligning instruction to achieve high levels of learning for all students, collaborating in teams to focus on high levels of learning, and refining alternative programs for students.

“I am very proud of our partnership with Brandman University,” said Capistrano Unified School District Superintendent Joseph M. Farley, Ed.D. “The students and staff of our virtual schools are the latest to benefit from the important relationship between our District and Brandman. We look forward to working with Brandman students and faculty to provide our children with an exceptional educational experience.”

Cal Prep high school offers a hybrid model in which students can take classes online, but have regular face-to-face sessions with highly-qualified credentialed teachers. CVS serves K-8 students with a flexible online curriculum that also allows participation in optional workshops and field trips. Information about the high school program can be found at Details on the K-8 online curriculum can be found at

The two virtual schools will function as a “lab” setting for CUSD teachers and Brandman University School of Education candidates in the Master’s and Doctoral degree programs. The lab school will offer an authentic instructional environment for projects, observations, and action research surrounding the virtual learning modality. CUSD teachers and students benefit directly from this unique partnership. For example, Cal Prep and CVS teachers will be able to participate in applicable professional development opportunities sponsored by Brandman University. And Brandman University will identify faculty members to provide customized support and professional development to CUSD teachers in the development and delivery of online learning. The learning environment for the students attending the lab schools will be enhanced by collaborative teams focused on high-levels of learning.

Brandman University and CUSD/California Preparatory Academy and Capistrano Virtual School will be listed as partners in the California Alliance for Teacher Education which serves as a central means of communication among all institutions listed in California who are developing effective partnerships to improve teacher education. The Alliance highlights effective strategies which focus on improvement and should be replicated and expanded throughout California.

Dr. Christine Zeppos, Dean of the Brandman University School of Education said, “Brandman University is honored to form yet another partnership with Capistrano Unified School District to support teacher professional development and enhance student learning. With Brandman’s strength as a leader in developing high quality online and blended instruction as well as our highly regarded Instructional Technology programs in education, the partnership is a perfect fit. It is our pleasure to share our expertise and provide support to these innovative schools.”

Brandman University is an innovator and leader in the emerging field of online education. Established for over 50 years, it is the second largest California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) private school issuer of teaching credentials in California. In 2010, the University transitioned its entire curriculum to a blended model called “iDEALTM” (Instructional Design for Engaged Adult Learners). In 2012, just 16 months after Brandman launched its online MBA program, it was named to the Honor Roll of Graduate Online Business Programs by U.S. News & World Report. Only 14 schools across the nation were recognized and Brandman was the only California school. Also in 2012, the School of Education faculty was ranked 10th for faculty credentials and training. In 2013, Brandman’s undergraduate online business program was ranked 8th in the nation, the only California school in the Top Ten. Also, Brandman University’s online graduate education and business programs each ranked third best among California programs evaluated by U.S. News.

About Brandman University
Brandman University is a private, non-profit institution accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). Established in 1958 and a part of the Chapman University System, Brandman blends a legacy of academic excellence with progressive, innovative curriculum and strong support services designed for working professionals. The university serves more than 12,000 students annually in 50+ undergraduate, graduate, credential, and certificate programs in arts and sciences, business, education and health, both offered online and through 26 campuses in California and Washington. For more information, visit or

About Capistrano Unified School District
Founded in 1965, the Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD) is a public school system serving seven cities in South Orange County, Calif. Currently educating 52,000 students on 56 school campuses, CUSD is the 10th largest school district in the state of California. The District has a reputation for instructional excellence, earning the highest academic achievement scores of any large school district in the state. Each year, more than 97 percent of its seniors graduate and 96 percent of its graduates attend college. For more information about the district and its programs, visit or follow us on Twitter @CapoUnified.

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