The purpose of this program is to provide educational experiences that facilitate an integrated view of knowledge and a strong perception of teaching as a complex activity leading to Pennsylvania Department of Education Instructional I certifications in biology, chemistry, general science, or environmental education.
The science teacher certification curriculum offers a challenging program with contemporary design, promoting inquiry and reflection. The program integrates academic preparation in the sciences with professional study in education. Practical issues of classroom teaching are studied in the light of psychology, philosophy, pedagogy, and communication.
In this program students will:
- Demonstrate an understanding of instructional methods suitable for use in secondary school science classes.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the teaching and learning process.
- Develop a commitment to becoming a science teacher.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the nature of student engagement.
- Analyze, evaluate, and apply effective classroom management strategies.
- Develop an understanding of the climate and culture of schools.
- Use appropriate educational technology to enhance students’ learning.
Teaching certificates are offered through the departments of Biological Sciences and Chemistry & Biochemistry within the Misher College of Arts and Sciences and through the health science program within the Samson College of Health Sciences. After satisfying program requirements, biology majors may qualify for Pennsylvania Department of Education secondary certifications in biology, chemistry, and general science, in addition to a K–12 certification in environmental education. Chemistry and biochemistry majors may qualify for secondary certifications in chemistry and general science. With a few extra courses, biochemistry majors may qualify for an additional secondary certification in biology and a K-12 certification in environmental education. Health science majors may qualify for secondary certifications in general science.
The Pennsylvania Department of Education recently changed its teacher certification requirements for students to qualify for certification. Due to these changes, USciences no longer offers a teacher certification program to incoming students and will close its program on December 31, 2012.
Teacher Certification Program Requirements
Admission to the science teacher certification program requires application to the Science Education Committee. Students must have a 3.0 overall grade point average, be recommended by the cooperating teacher in TC 285 – Science Education Field Laboratory or a professor in the sciences, and be approved by the Science Education Committee.
In order to ensure competence in material dealing with psychology, educational methodology, and philosophy, students are required to earn a minimum of “B” in each of the following courses and to maintain a 3.0 professional development course average as established by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.