Rafaela Santa Cruz

College of Education Faculty Student Mentor

Director, San Diego Mathematics Project

Co-Principal Investigator, Science Achievement in Biology (SABIO) 


  • Ph.D. Educational Administration, University of Arizona
  • M.S. Special Education, University of Southern California
  • B.S. Mathematics, University of Arizona


I grew up in Tucson, Arizona where I attended the University of Arizona and received a degree in mathematics. After graduation, I received a fellowship for a Master's program in special education at the University of Southern California. After those studies I returned to teach at Tucson High School. During the nine years that I was there I was a teacher, department chair, and Mexican folkloric dance instructor. In my spare time I took doctoral classes. After receiving my doctorate in 1979, I was hired as a senior research analyst for an externally funded project at San Diego State University. The following year I was hired as a faculty member in the Secondary Education Department.

Interests, Activities & Plans

Presently, I teach methods of teaching mathematics for elementary, secondary, and Spanish bilingual students, educational psychology for secondary students, and statistics and research methods for doctoral students. The focus of my research and professional growth activities has been to seek solutions to the achievement gap of Latino students, particularly in mathematics. I am the director of San Diego Mathematics Project, a leadership staff development program for teachers of mathematics.

I am also involved with a student recruitment program, B-FIRST, at San Diego High School and I direct the College of Education Faculty Student Mentor Program, a student retention programs for underrepresented students at SDSU.

Other Interesting Things

I enjoy attending concerts and plays. I like a variety of music that is reflected in my eclectic CD collection. I enjoy traveling and doing things with my extended family that includes my father, seven brothers and sisters, and 15 nieces and nephews. I enjoy cooking, sewing, and playing with technology.

Other Places in Webspace

Internet in Mexico

Music Catalog

Rafaela Santa Cruz

Rafaela M. Santa Cruz
Associate Professor of Teacher Education

School of Teacher Education
EBA 250
San Diego State University
San Diego, CA 92182
Phone: 619-594-1120

Center for Research in Mathematics & Science Education
6475 Alvarado Road, Suite 128
San Diego, CA 92120
Fax: 619-594-1581

E-Mail: [email protected]