Science Education

Coordinator: Associate Professor Tomasek

The Departments of Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Environmental Studies, in cooperation with the School of Education, offer programs leading to the Bachelor of Arts in Science Education with Secondary Science Comprehensive Licensure in the areas of biology, chemistry, environmental science and physics.

This licensure program prepares teachers for careers in high school teaching across the different science disciplines. The program emphasizes practical hands-on experience in classrooms, educational theory and pedagogy as well as a breadth and depth of science content knowledge. The program culminates with a full semester of teaching in a high school setting.

Before being admitted into the teacher education program, the student must apply to the program and be recommended by the Science Education department. The basic testing requirement for admission to teacher education is the PRAXIS I Core Academic Skills for Educators. PRAXIS CORE is a series of tests in reading, writing, and mathematics with minimum scores as established by the N.C. State Board of Education. SAT or ACT scores may be substituted for the PRAXIS I tests as follows:

Students who score at least 1100 on the SAT (combined verbal and mathematics) or an ACT composite score of 24 are exempt from taking the Praxis I examinations.

If the SAT total is less than 1100 (or less than 24 ACT composite), PRAXIS I exams are required as follows:

Students who score at least 550 on the math SAT (24 on math ACT) are exempt from the math PRAXIS I. If the math score is less than 550 SAT (24 ACT), students must take the math PRAXIS I exam.

Students who score at least 550 on the verbal SAT (24 on English ACT) are exempt from both the reading and writing PRAXIS I examinations. If the verbal score is less than 550 SAT (24 ACT), students must take both the reading and writing PRAXIS I examinations.

In addition, all students must demonstrate grammar competency and earn a grade of C- or better in ENG 110 and a grade of C or better in SOC 243. Students must earn a grade of C in EDU 241, Grammar for Educators or ENG 205, Grammar, if taken to meet an admissions requirement to the teacher education program. Students must also complete Title IX training and be cleared with a criminal background check when being placed in any internship setting. A student must earn a grade of C or better in PSY 321 before enrollment in a methods class. A student must earn a grade of C or better in all Education courses in order to be eligible to student teach.

In all cases, approval for admission to the program is subject to the discretion of the Teacher Education Committee, which bases its decision not only on the above factors, but also on satisfactory command of standard English usage (written and oral) and acceptable dispositions. Students whose dispositions are not acceptable will be interviewed by the department chair and/or a committee of education faculty. Depending on the severity of the problem, a student may be denied admission to the program or admitted with probationary status. In some cases probationary status will require a contract. Students who do not demonstrate acceptable dispositions after admission to the program may be removed by the Teacher Education Committee. All students following their admission to the program are required to attend the Teacher Candidate Induction Ceremony.

Application forms for the teacher education program are available in the office of the School of Education and must be filed by October 15 or March 15 of the semester immediately prior to beginning their Professional Education coursework. A student must be unconditionally admitted to the program before being permitted to take education courses beyond the 200 level. Any exceptions to this policy must be approved by the dean of the School of Education. To be recommended for teacher licensure, a teacher candidate must meet all academic requirements and have a minimum GPA of 2.5. A teacher candidate must also meet the North Carolina minimum score on the Specialty Area Test (minimum scores for these tests vary with content area) and have a recommendation from the school system in which student teaching was completed.

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