Oct 28, 2020  
2011-2012 University Catalog 
2011-2012 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Teacher Certifications

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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.

Program Description

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.

Teacher Certification Fundamental Requirements

In addition to completing the requirements of a BS in biochemistry, biology, or chemistry or a BSHS in health science, students must complete the following courses:

Additional Requirements

Before beginning the student teaching experience, students must:

  • Complete all coursework.
  • Be admitted into the science teacher certification Program by the Science Education Committee.
  • Attain a grade point average of 3.0 in each required course for certification areas.
  • Attain a grade point average of 3.0 in each of the eight required methodology and philosophy courses listed above.
  • Attain an overall minimum GPA of 3.00.
  • Complete the Pennsylvania State Police Request for Criminal Record Check.
  • Obtain a Federal Criminal History Record and Child Abuse History Clearance.

A minimum grade of “B” must be attained in TC 487 - Supervised Teaching Internship before the University will recommend issuance of teaching credentials.

Upon completion of the program requirements and obtaining passing scores on the ETS Praxis series, students may apply for Pennsylvania Instructional Teaching Certificates. The Pennsylvania Department of Education will issue certificates to students who have passed tests required by the Commonwealth. Students must demonstrate proficiency in basic skills, general knowledge, professional knowledge, and subject specializations. The Pennsylvania Department of Education currently has interstate certification agreements with 45 other states and the District of Columbia.

Science Teacher Certification – Faculty


Lois H. Peck
BS, MEd (West Chester); EdD (Temple)
Professor of Biology
Director, Science Teacher Certification Program
Phone: 215.596.8922
E-mail: l.peck@usciences.edu

Selected Cooperating Local School Districts

Abington School District
Rose Tree Media School District
Upper Darby School District
Philadelphia School District
Centennial School District
Haverford Township School District

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