Department Chair, Professor, Education
BS California State University, Long Beach
MS University of California, Santa Barbara
PhD University of California, Santa Barbara
Secondary Teacher Preparation Program
Carol Johnston began her career as a chemical engineer after receiving her B. S. from California State University, Long Beach. After becoming involved with programs to encourage local students from underrepresented groups to consider engineering, she returned to school for a teaching credential. She spent over fifteen years in public and private schools teaching science and mathematics. Most currently, she spent ten years at Villanova Preparatory School in Ojai CA, serving as science department chair and teaching physics and calculus.
Dr. Johnston completed her PhD in Science Education at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2003. Her doctoral dissertation, “Community Development in a Research Experience for Teachers (RET) Program: Teacher Growth and Translation of the Experience Back to the Classroom” explored the effects of a Professional Development program for science teachers engaged in university scientific research during the summer. She has continued her interest in collaborations between the scientific community and K-12 teachers. In addition, she has presented research on career-changers who become teachers at conferences for the Association for Science Teacher Educators in Portland, OR (2006) and Clearwater, FL (2007). This research explored the needs of career-changers as they engage in teacher preparation courses alongside their more traditional peers.
Dr. Johnston comes to Mount Saint Mary’s after spending three years as an adjunct faculty member at California State University Channel Islands. There, she taught physical science for liberal arts majors and education methods courses. She also supervised student teachers in mathematics and science. She has also served as a site supervisor for a Middle School in Santa Barbara, working with preservice teachers in a variety of subject areas.